Outdoor Recreation Enthusiast,
We recently had a Recreation Northwest board meeting and our President, Andrew Olive, asked, “What are you looking forward to this fall?” We all echoed, “…enjoying the coming shoulder season and the changes it brings to our natural environment and outdoor activities”. On behalf of our board members and staff- We hope you have found ways to make the most out of life, get outside to enjoy your summer, and are also looking forward to the fall season ahead.
Recreation Northwest is a mission-driven organization. We promote outdoor recreation and bring people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. Since March, we have been unable to meet this foundational objective to “bring people together”. We cancelled Parkscriptions Day in April; in May our main event, the Recreation Northwest EXPO, was planned to be bigger and better than ever; and ALL smaller events and gatherings were zeroed out. Despite the pandemic we are making meaningful progress for outdoor recreation. >>> RecreationNorthwest.org/Events
With the support of the Murdock Charitable Trust, we are evolving our Parkscriptions program under the leadership of Elizabeth Nelson, Program Director. Working closely with our partners at Western Washington University Recreation Management and Leadership, a team of student interns is preparing to launch a new program of Nature Health & Parks Tours in select Bellingham Parks. Our Parkscriptions partners also include Unity Care Northwest and Family Care Network. >>> Parkscriptions.org
We continue to act as Stewards of Fairhaven Park and champion improvements of the trail network; the ecological health of the park; and in our native plant gardens. These two programs intersected with the installation of a new park bench provided with funding from Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery. The gated garden entrance will reflect a Japanese Torii style symbolically marking the transition from the mundane to the sacred and providing a place of Parkscriptions solitude to soak in the sights and sounds of nature.
When the “Stay at Home” order was enacted, our Washington Outdoor Business Alliance mobilized and worked with the Governor’s office to get Outdoor Recreation Guides and Outfitters back to work. See a list of our Members, Strategy and Impact >>> RecreationNorthwest.org/
The Great Outdoors Awards will continue.While not able to host the event with you in attendance, we will present Great Outdoors Awards to the individuals, organizations and businesses who deserve recognition for their good work building the recreation community across the state.
Awards Nominations open next week.
- Nominate the your pick for the Great Outdoors Awards online: RecreationNorthwest.
- Nomination Deadline – September 31st. Award Announcements – Nov. 18th.
- Check out the 2019 Great Outdoors Awards Winners.
The Washington Outdoor Recreation Summit is scheduled for October. We are in the process of determining the following and want your input.
A) Whether or not to pull the trigger and shift to a virtual event OR
B) Are people just completely Zoomed OUT and just want to go outside and play?
Let me know if you have an opinion. Call or email me. We hope to make a definitive decision within a week. I appreciate your perspectives and would love to hear from you ASAP.
So where do we go from here?
We need your help.
While we have been able to survive, we cannot thrive without our usual event and program offerings. Our revenue streams are down to a trickle. Given the financial situation of our organization, we will scale back our operations to a minimum.
As a founder and Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, I am personally committed to our long term success. I will no longer draw a salary and will volunteer my available time to keep our heartbeat going and voice strong. During this time I will be redefining our offerings to meet the current needs of our recreation community. We have a strong and supportive board of directors helping guide us through these times and come out positive on the other side. >>> RecreationNorthwest.org/
As we scale back, our staff will be cared for. I have accepted temporary contract work with the City of Bellingham Parks Department as a Communications Coordinator to help our local parks during these trying times. Yes, an obvious fit, I’m sure you’ll see my photos and read my words over the coming months.
Our Office Manager, Zuzana Pankovcin, will enter an MBA program at WWU in the fall. Zuzana secured PPP funding to get us through the past couple months. She went from volunteer to intern to Office Manager gracefully. We appreciate all she has done and hope to keep her on board as a valuable resource and asset to our organization.
Which is the way that’s clear?
You can help speed our rebound and secure future success for Recreation Northwest. Your donations are needed more than ever to sustain our programs and fulfill our commitments.
Please give. Donate Today.
We appreciate your continued support and understanding of the challenging situation we and many community non-profits are facing during these trying times. We are confident we will continue to bring value to the outdoor recreation community and industry.
Your support and donations today will be invested into our survival and the growth of our community.
I’ll be sending out a “good news” newsletter next week, including open nominations for the Great Outdoors Awards.
Yours in the Outdoors,
ps- We went for a walk in the woods in the Sehome Hill Arboretum today with our interns on a Natural Health Tour. Engaging our senses and soaking in nature, I was appreciative to have the opportunity to see and photograph this dragonfly. The combination of colors and the intricate “mechanical” design of this flying creature is beauty to behold. I’m happy to share this image with you:
Get Your Dose of Nature.
As Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, Todd Elsworth promotes outdoor recreation and brings community together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. His decades of extensive event production, marketing and writing experience propel this passion. You might bump into him and his daughter Violet while they’re biking, hiking, paddling or skiing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.