Camera adventure

Check Out Washington Program Expands with New Adventure Packs, Partnership and Additional Funding

OLYMPIA – Check Out Washington is growing once again with new adventure packs, a new partnership and additional funding. The popular interagency program allows local library cardholders to check out adventure packs, including special Discover passes, for a week at a time. The expansion prioritizes communities where health disparity data indicates an increased need for free access to recreational opportunities.

The Washington State Parks Foundation secured sponsorship from WSECU which funded the purchase of more than 400 additional passes and worked with Parks, the State Library System, and the Office of the Secretary of State to create new pass packs. adventures to enhance exploration and enjoyment of state parks.

The packs include materials to help first-time visitors, including a Discover Pass that gives users free parking, educational materials, and a set of three laminated pocket guides to Washington’s trees, wildlife, and birds. A set of high-quality binoculars funded by the Washington State Parks Foundation is also included in the pack.

“We are thrilled to support Washington State Parks, the Washington State Parks Foundation and the State Library System with the expansion of Check Out Washington,” said Ann Flannigan, vice president of public relations for WSECU. “This program helps remove barriers to accessing state lands and provides any resident with the opportunity to experience these public treasures.”

This latest program expansion will triple the capacity of the Check Out Washington program, prioritizing where it is needed most. The Foundation, WSECU, the Washington State Library, and the Office of the Secretary of State have identified rural and urban libraries to receive the adventure packs. They will be distributed to libraries that serve diverse communities facing environmental health disparities. Additional Check Out Washington materials are available through the following library systems:

Fairchild Air Force Base Library

Lewis-McChord Joint Base Libraries

King County Library System

Western Australia North Central Libraries

Pierce County Library System

Spokane County Library District

Spokane Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Timberland Regional Library

Yakima Valley Libraries

“Since the program began in 2019, our goal has been to continue to expand our offerings statewide,” said new Washington State Parks Director Diana Dupuis. “We thank WSECU and the Foundation for their generous support in this effort and look forward to seeing more Check Out Washington visitors to our parks.”

Check Out Washington was launched in 2019 as a partnership between Washington State Parks and the State Library of Washington with seed funding and program development from the Foundation and support from resource departments (DNR) and Fisheries and Wildlife (WDFW) of Washington. In 2020, the state legislature pledged $35,000 a year to buy two special passes for every library in Washington that needs them.

“We are thrilled to facilitate this team effort to expand the Check Out Washington program to encourage more new users,” said Washington State Parks Foundation Executive Director John Floberg. “The most exciting thing for me is seeing this private-public partnership specifically focused on helping those in Washington who are least likely to be able to visit state parks.”

Floberg added that he was especially pleased that the adventure packs were made in the state by eqpd gear, a durable bag maker based in Twisp, and that the binoculars were purchased by Washington-based Glazer’s Camera.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand Check Out Washington to more people who want to discover and explore Washington’s beautiful state parks,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones. “Libraries are at the heart of our communities, providing unlimited resources to the public. Their participation in this program helps to deepen their connection with the people they serve. »

Library patrons can reserve an Adventure Pack and Week Pass at a time with their library card. A list of 10 libraries participating in the expansion is available on the Check Out Washington website. Interested users can also contact their local library for additional information.

A regular one-day Discover Pass costs $10, plus a $1.50 transaction if purchased from an authorized vendor, over the phone, or online. Annual passes cost $30, plus a $5 transaction fee if purchased from a license vendor, over the phone, or online.

About Washington State Parks: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreational opportunities to citizens and provides stewardship protection for a wide range of natural, cultural and historical resources. State Parks statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety, and winter recreation.

About Washington State Library: The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, connects Washington through the power of libraries. It builds thriving and informed communities by providing technology, access to information, resources and professional support to librarians and residents across the state. The Washington State Library also collects, preserves, and makes available records of the state’s government, history, culture, and natural resources. Through its branch services, the State Library meets the information needs of residents of state institutions and people who cannot read standard print.

About the Washington State Parks Foundation: The Washington State Parks Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the enhancement, protection, and defending Washington’s spectacular state parks. The mission of the Washington State Parks Foundation is to ensure a vibrant and inclusive system of parks in Washington State that generations can enjoy. We engage, grow, and maintain a broad base of supporters who give, defend, and cherish Washington’s 124 state parks.

About WSECU: WSECU is a nonprofit credit union open to all residents of Washington, with a special focus on serving those who embrace the values ​​of giving, sharing, and supporting their communities. WSECU has 280,000 members, 22 branches and $4 billion in assets. It commits 4% of its annual net income to reinvest in the communities it serves through partnerships with educational institutions and other nonprofit institutions.

– Washington State Parks News Release 22-023