Washington state parks are on track to collect enough money from donations to keep all state parks open despite budget cutbacks, park officials reported, after the first month of a new program that encourages donations when vehicle owners renew license tabs.
The state Legislature cut $52 million in general fund revenue from the two-year 2009-11 parks budget, and established a donation program designed to raise $28 million for parks. Under the program, vehicle owners have an automatic $5 parks donation added to their license renewal fees unless they opt out. In the first month of operation, this program raised $1.4 million. Park officials said that if they collect an average of $1.25 million each month over the next two years, they will meet their revenue goal and be able to keep all parks open.