Washington is administering the RTP in a manner that brings credit both to itself at the state level and to the RTP at the national level.
In Washington State, the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) administers the RTP. The RCO uses an enterprise database system to accept applications and to monitor funded projects as they proceed to completion. And the process is transparent. Anyone can access almost all project information, including project specific details, status, financial award and reimbursement information, and more.
Washington’s RTP Advisory Committee serves as the program’s evaluation panel for grant applications. Key to the committee’s work are the criteria adopted by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Funding Board in an open public meeting. Those criteria are designed to ensure that RTP funds address specific statewide needs and priorities.
RTP grants are awarded by the Funding Board in another open public meeting. The state complements this open process by paying special attention to fiscal accountability. The state also keeps an eye on the overall funding process to ensure that every dollar is put to use. One hundred percent of the funds are obligated. Unfunded projects are readily available for implementation if a completed project comes in under budget, freeing up precious RTP dollars.
The RCO also works closely with the members of its Advisory Committee to ensure that the grant process is fair and ethical and benefits a wide variety of trail users. Not only are different trail user groups represented but also representatives of state and federal land management agencies.
It is with great pleasure that the CRT presents the RTP Achievement Award for state trail programs to the State of Washington.
Washington State Parks trails program: http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/rtp.shtml
2013: West Virginia