Tag: Spokane

‘Like hitting three home runs in a row,’ Spokane County park planner takes the big picture to conservation, recreation

It’s likely you don’t know Paul Knowles.

But you almost certainly know his work.

Over the past decade, the 38-year-old Spokane transplant has been a key force behind the region’s growing trail and green space portfolio, in the process reshaping regional recreation for decades to come.

As Spokane County’s park planner, his work is often dry and behind the scenes. While others swing Pulaskis (although he’s been known to pick one up on occasion), Knowles submits impeccable grant applications, coordinates volunteer efforts and generally takes in the big picture.

If you’ve ever appreciated a well-marked trail in Spokane County, stared longingly at Mica Peak’s snow-covered slopes while driving on I-90 or taken a quick lap up and down one of Beacon Hill’s numerous mountain bike trails after work, you owe Knowles a beer.

Particularly this year.

That’s because three Spokane County projects are ranked first in a highly competitive state grant program.

“That’s like hitting three home runs in a row,” said Jeff Lambert, the executive director of the Dishman Hills Conservancy and a veteran grant-writer. “If it was in the sports world, it would be on the front page of the newspaper.”

Unlike the sports world, these wins are making tangible and long-lasting differences to the quality of life in our region.

“We’re lucky to have someone so competent working behind the scenes for the public good,” said Rich Landers, the outdoors editor at the Spokesman-Review for 40 years and a trail guidebook author. “He’s the right man at the right time for Spokane County Conservation Futures.”

In May, Knowles submitted two grant requests totaling $1.5 million that allowed the county and city to purchase several parcels of private land on Beacon Hill, thus preserving public access to a popular mountain biking area minutes from downtown Spokane. The sale was announced in August and made possible by the fact that both grant requests are No. 1 in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

Every two years, the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office evaluates potential projects and ranks them. The nonprofit then submits a funding request to the Legislature. The Legislature allocates money to the program. Projects receive funding based on their ranking.

“Beacon Hill, that thing is on track,” Lambert said. “It makes me weep with happiness. He’s the most valued conservationist.”

Another Knowles grant, this one for Antoine Peak’s Etter Ranch project, also received top billing in the grant cycle.

“Our grant programs are very, very competitive and for a county to be that high on the various lists they applied for is incredible,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “It really talks about how much work they put in to showcase the project.”

Knowles also oversaw the completion of the Phillips Creek Trailhead, the “jumping-off point” for the new, 2.25-mile “Flying L Trail.” In recent years, he’s also pioneered the use of trailhead webcams, which allow users to check how busy a trailhead is before driving there. It’s a

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NRPA Recognizes Spokane Parks and Recreation with Its Best in Innovation Award

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Ashburn Va.,, Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, is proud to recognize the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department in Spokane, Washington, with its Best in Innovation Award. The award, which symbolizes the best of the best in park and recreation innovation, was presented virtually, Oct. 28, 2020, as part of the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience.

Also the recipient of NRPA’s Innovation in Park Design Award, the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation was recognized for the redevelopment of Riverfront Park — an area surrounding Spokane Falls and a sacred gathering space of the Spokane tribe. The project transformed the park into a vibrant and sustainable space that links north and south, bringing community together at the river and providing places that celebrate the region’s history, people and natural features. Two of the award-winning park’s signature elements include the U.S. Pavilion, which features stunning river views, illumination, shade and a multi-use event space that serves as the community’s central gathering space, and the Howard Street Promenade, a new pathway that offers intuitive wayfinding with varied color pathways to local points of interest, including the river and quiet green spaces downtown. 

“NRPA is proud to present the dedicated staff and professionals of the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation with this award,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA President and CEO. “Like so many other park and recreation professionals and agencies across the country, they are making a positive impact on the communities they serve through innovative planning and designs. As their champion, we are proud to honor and recognize their accomplishments. Congratulations to the entire department on this well-earned achievement.”

Selected by the NRPA National Awards and Scholarship Committee, NRPA Innovation Awards recognize park and recreation professionals and agencies nationwide that have improved and revitalized their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation and equity. To learn more about these awards — including this year’s winners — click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.  


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit  www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit  www.parksandrecreation.org.

Suzanne Nathan National Recreation and Park Association 703-858-4748 [email protected]

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Recreation – Spokane Valley, WA

Spokane Valley Recreation Programs

Spring & Summer Registration (INCLUDING SWIMMING LESSONS, SWIM TEAM and SUMMER DAY CAMP) has been paused until June 1, 2020.  We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide information as it becomes available.  

All April Adult Dance Classes (April 6-May 11) are canceled.


You can register IN PERSON at CenterPlace Regional Event Center

OVER THE PHONE:  By calling Parks and Recreation at 509.720.5200 .

ONLINE:  By visiting our
registration page 24/7.

What can we help you find?

From the category


box below select the area you wish
to get more detailed information on.

Recreation programs, Camps,

Park Programs,
Adult Programs, Pool Information
and more.

Listing files in ‘Recreation Documents’

The Recreation Department’s Vision is to:

  • Deliver diversified recreational and educational experiences

    for all ages.
  • Foster vigorous partnerships within the community.
  • Advocate health, wellness and physical activity.

Effective January 1, 2018, per City Council Resolution, all credit/debit card transactions will now be charged a 2.5% processing fee.  Cash, check, or money order are still accepted, with no processing fee required.  

We apologize for any inconvenience.


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Parks & Recreation – Spokane Valley, WA

 Welcome to Parks and Recreation!

Mission Statement:

To enrich the quality of life for everyone who lives, works in, or visits Spokane Valley through quality programs, parks, and events.

Vision Statement:

We are dedicated to being established as an essential and valued service in the community.  To be known for our commitment to excellence and delivery of high quality recreation programs, services, facilities and parks.


The Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department provides residents and visitors with approximately 254 acres of unique parks and open areas, a variety of quality recreation programs, community events, CenterPlace Regional Event

Center, a Senior Center, and three outdoor pools operated seasonally. ________________________________
Department Staff:

Parks & Recreation Director Mike Stone (509) 720-5400
Parks & Recreation Admin Asst       Patty Bischoff (509) 720-5401
Recreation Coordinator Tina Gregerson (509) 720-5408
Recreation Specialist Kendall May  (509) 720-5403
CenterPlace Coordinator Carol Carter (509) 720-5402
Office Assistant 2 Nicole Ulmer (509) 720-5405
Office Assistant 1 Patti Delbuono (509) 720-5407
Facility Maintenance William Hunt (509) 720-5406
Facility Maintenance Chris Dobbins (509) 720-5410

Additional Links

Contact Information

Parks & Recreation Department

CenterPlace Regional Event Center

2426 N. Discovery Place

Spokane Valley, WA 99216  

(509) 720-5200 
Fax: (509) 720-5250 
[email protected]

Office Hours: 

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday 

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