State to Fund Improvement Projects at Tenino City Park, Athletic Fields


Upgrades to Tenino City Park will be supported by new grant funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).

The state awarded more than $4.7 million on Tuesday to help communities plan for outdoor recreation facilities, according to a news release. The awarded grants range from $12,927 to $250,000 and will support organizations in 19 counties, including two in Thurston County.

"We know that spending time outside provides so many benefits, such as improved health, less stress and better social skills," RCO Director Megan Duffy said. "We think that everyone should be able to spend time in a park or on a trail and get those benefits."

The City of Tenino has been awarded $118,511 to plan upgrades to the south end of Tenino City Park, according to the release.

This is a popular area that includes the Quarry House Community Center, Tenino Memorial (Quarry) Pool and Tenino Depot Museum Complex. The park also features the end of the Yelm-Tenino Trail and the start of a new Accessibility Trail.

The city hopes to replace a gravel parking area with an asphalt surface with defined parking spots, according to a November letter of interest that Tenino submitted to the RCO.

The city also aims to build centralized utilities in a large lawn area that's frequently used for picnics and festivals, according to the letter. This will include a new water line, a fire hydrant and lighting.

"For the lawn, we envision a large centerpiece that will provide power and water for visitors, entertainers and popup vendors," the letter stated.

Additionally, the letter indicated the city wants to add a fire lane, walking areas and handicap parking to the Tenino Depot Museum Complex.

The state also awarded $69,969 to the Tenino School District so it can start planning new athletic and recreational fields on its property, per the RCO release.

These fields could be used by school and community teams for football and soccer, according to the letter of interest the district sent to the RCO.

Walking and biking trails also are being considered to link the high school and middle school campuses, the letter stated.

The district expects this project to be "shovel ready" by spring 2024, at which point they would seek bids for the construction work, according to the letter.

The RCO release stated communities may apply for construction grants once their initial planning is complete.

Awards for these projects come from the Planning for Recreation Access grant program. 

The state legislature first funded this program in 2021, according to the release. The RCO announced a first round of grants in February and the Legislature funded a second round earlier this year.