Million Dollar Mile gets another million

RCO awards $164 million in recreation grants across state


Last updated 7/7/2021 at 7:42am

The boat launch at the “Million Dollar Mile” area along SR-155 will be getting a makeover to the tune of $965,000 in grant money from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

“The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to redevelop the Million Dollar North Access Area on Banks Lake in Grant County, about 9 miles north of Coulee City,” a description of the project reads. “The department will pave the entrance road and parking lot and install a restroom, loading platform, a concrete boat launch, and large boulders to denote boundaries. The department also will level and lay gravel on the parking and camping areas. The 3-acre access area is used by anglers, hunters, boaters, skiers, and all the other water sports.”

For their 2021-2023 grant cycle, RCO is awarding $164 million in grant money to 342 projects “to provide recreational amenities, conserve wildlife habitat and protect working forests and farms,” a June 28 RCO press release states. 

“These grants are fundamental to keeping Washington the beautiful state it is,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “The funding comes from state and federal sources and is invested in hundreds of projects to give our kids places to play, ensure our food is grown close to home and keep our green spaces healthy for wildlife.”

The grants “are matched by more than $221 million in resources from grant applicants, such as cash, donations, staff time and equipment, bringing the total investment in Washington’s great outdoors to nearly $386 million,” RCO says.

Local grant writers may want to keep RCO in mind and apply for their next grant cycle as many of the grants are going to other communities to pay for things on the Coulee’s wishlists. 

For example, the City of Republic is getting $359,600 to develop a skatepark, Omak is getting $350,000 to replace their skate park, and Othello is getting $1.35 million to develop a playground and basketball court in one of their parks. 

Baseball fields, basketball courts, and parks in general are mentioned in many of the grant award descriptions.


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