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Parks and Recreation

Below are selected “Ask MRSC” inquiries we have received from local governments throughout Washington State related to parks and recreation. Click on any question to see the answer.

These questions are for educational purposes only. All questions and answers have been edited and adapted for posting to the MRSC website, and all identifying information, including the inquirer’s name and agency name, has been removed.

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Officials and employees from eligible government agencies can use our free one-on-one inquiry service, Ask MRSC. With one call or click you can get a personalized answer from one of our trusted attorneys, policy consultants, or finance experts!


Do you have any examples of COVID-19 signage for things like playgrounds, parks, golf courses, etc.?
Reviewed: June 2020

Please see the following examples:

(Link to this question)

Can someone spread cremated human remains in a public park?
Reviewed: January 2018

State law allows the scattering of remains in this manner, provided the person seeking to spread the ashes obtains permission. RCW 68.50.130 provides (emphasis added):

Every person who performs a disposition of any human remains, except as otherwise provided by law, in any place, except in a cemetery or a building dedicated exclusively for religious purposes, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Disposition of cremated human remains may also occur on private property, with the consent of the property owner; and on public or government lands or waters with the approval of the government agency that has either jurisdiction or control, or both, of the lands or waters.

Note, that if the scattering is not being done by a close relative (spouse, adult child, parent, sibling) or by an authorized representative of the deceased person, a permit from the state cemetery board is required. See RCW 68.05.195.

Several national parks have information about spreading ashes within a park. There are certain rules one must follow, and a person has to obtain permission to do so. See, e.g., Yosemite National Park’s webpageon scattering cremated remains.

The agency operating the park could consider adopting a formal policy or ordinance regarding the scattering of ashes on its public property, or it could grant permission on a case-by-case basis and ask the person to adhere to any conditions that the agency thinks appropriate. For more information, see MRSC’s Cemeteries and Cemetery Administration topic page.

(Link to this question)

Request for sample ordinances that prohibit smoking of any kind—including tobacco and e-cigarettes—in city parks.
Reviewed: October 2017

Here are several examples of total or partial bans on smoking in city parks. Some also specifically include e-cigarettes.


Partial Bans

(Link to this question)

Does MRSC have any sample code provisions related to urban farms?
Reviewed: October 2017

Here are some sample code provisions from jurisdictions in Washington State:

In addition, the following information may be of interest:

(Link to this question)