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Parks and Recreation Finance

This page provides a list of resources and documents for local governments in Washington State related to financing park and recreation services.


The section on Finance Administration and Planning includes samples of strategic plans and organizational studies that focus on how to sustain parks and recreation services including long term financing. Financing of park and recreation services through special purpose districts is also included.

Park districts have been formed to fund general recreation programs as well as specific services such as swimming pools and community centers. A small section has been included on ballot measures relating to parks and recreation funding.

Park and Recreation Grants

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) provides grants for a variety of park and recreation programs. Cities, counties, and special purpose districts are eligible for many of these grant programs.

Most grant programs require applicants to complete a systematic planning process, such as developing a comprehensive plan, before seeking funding. Most grants also require applicants to contribute to the project by providing cash or in-kind contributions up to 50% of the project cost.

New in 2018: Some local agencies are eligible for reduced matches for the RCO Youth Athletic Facilities and Washington Wildlife and Recreation programs. Eligible agencies must meet one of the following criteria: communities in need, counties in need, underserved populations, or federal disaster areas. For definitions and more information, see the RCO's page on Match Reduction.

Finance Administration and Planning


Donations and Gift Catalogs

General Gift Policies

Park Policies and Gifting Opportunities Including Memorials

Other Memorials

  • Fort Collins, CO - Forestry Division A Living Tribute - A tree program to pay tribute to persons living or dead. Site provide regulations and a list of suggested trees.
  • San Jose, CA Monument Policy, - Policy related to the installation of permanent outdoor Monuments on city property to provide the city’s commemoration of persons or events of note, or to otherwise convey the city’s position on various topics (“referred to as “Government Speech”), 03/23/2010.
  • Vancouver, B.C. Board of Parks and Recreation Donating

Park Foundations


Scholarship Programs

Bonds and Levies for Park and Recreation

General Resources

  • Bond Users Clearinghouse, Washington State Department of Commerce - provides information on local government bond issuances and outstanding general obligation debt
  • Conservation Campaign, Trust for Public Land - Provides leadership, expertise, and resources to mobilize public support to win ballot measures and legislation that create more public funds to protect land and water resources (includes parks and open space)
  • Land Vote Trust for Public Land - Databases on conservation finance measures placed on ballot (includes parks and open space)
  • Levy Lid Lift, MRSC

General Bond and Levy Campaigns

Local Government Bond and Levy Campaigns

Special Districts for Parks and Recreation

Last Modified: May 02, 2019