About the Public Development Authority
Frequently Asked Questions
As of March 2013 regular Board Meetings will be the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Currently scheduled meetings and related documents are listed on the Documents page.
Please check the FWPDA Google calendar for meeting schedules and updates as well as special events. Click on items for details.
The April 10, 2013 regular Board Meeting has been postponed. A new date will be posted on the Documents page when it's decided on.
On December 6, 2012 the Washington State Parks Commission voted to accept the State Parks Staff Agenda item instructing State Parks Staff to proceed with negotiating a Management Agreement with the PDA regarding operating the campus portion of Fort Worden. Please see the Documents page for the latest schedule of meetings, and to download related documents.
Washington’s state park system is undergoing a shift in its financing.
Revenues from the $30 Discover Pass user fee program created by the Legislature in 2011 have fallen short of expectations, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission now has no choice but to make fundamental changes in how it operates state parks, according to a press release.
To help guide the agency during the next decade of transition, the state parks commission has crafted a transformation strategy, which is posted online at parks.wa.gov/beyond2013.
Visit the Washington State Parks YouTube page to see videos about some of Washington's Parks and a Public Service Announcement from Governor Gregoire about supporting State Parks.
Help support Washington State Parks, purchase a Discover Pass. Passes are available at the Fort Worden Park Office, the Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden, the Marine Science Center at Fort Worden and some other Fort Worden Partners for $30 without any additional charges.
at Fort Worden State Park
"New ideas require old buildings."
-- Urban historian Jane Jacobs
Fort Worden's 435 acres, operated for decades as a Washington State Park, include some 100 whitewashed buildings built at the turn of the century. The built Campus of the fort is a National Historic Landmark with performance halls, meeting rooms, classrooms, a dining hall, guest houses and dormitories. The Campus is outlined by a broad parade ground, walkways, winding roads and rows of stately maples. The Campus is surrounded by the rest of the park - broad beaches that reach past the Point Wilson Lighthouse into Admiralty Inlet, densely forested highlands laced by trails and historical embattlements, picnic areas and full-service campgrounds. The park itself is at the edge of Victorian Port Townsend, and at the foot of the vast Olympic National Park.
Over the past five years, a bold collaboration between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, local government and Centrum, a renowned cultural organization, has created a long-term plan for the future for Fort Worden. Led by a local public corporation called the Public Development Authority, Fort Worden would be weaned from tax support and become self-sustaining. In keeping with a Lifelong Learning Center vision, the current 15 partner organizations operating on the Campus would be enhanced, and new partners would be sought to fill in empty spaces and to launch new educational enterprises.
All partners, existing and new, would be devoted to improving lives through artistic, cultural, wellness, culinary, educational, recreational and trades-oriented programs. Revenues raised would support the facilities and the traditional campgrounds, beaches and trails that have been open to the local and visiting public for generations. The PDA would sustain public access.
This new vision for Fort Worden has become especially important given the serious financial problems faced by Washington State Parks. All parks face cutbacks; many face closure. Fort Worden's public-private partnership model holds promise as a way of sustaining and improving Fort Worden. The PDA, created by the City of Port Townsend, is charged with implementing the long-term plan for the Fort by preserving the Fort's unique historical and recreational resources, and developing the Lifelong Learning Center. One example: the renovation of a little-used barracks, Building 202, into a permanent college center.
Fort Worden will remain a park, always open to campers, hikers, kayakers and beachwalkers. The renovated Campus will be infused with new privately and publicly funded programs devoted to inspirational and transformative learning for people of all ages.
PowerPoint Presentation from March 2012.
Washington State Parks has completed a long-range plan effort for Fort Worden. In Part 1, a conceptual plan to establish Fort Worden as a center for life-long learning was completed. Part 2 of the planning effort includes more detailed work in the areas of facilities development, programming, management and governance.
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Content Updated April 3, 2013
Minor update February 11, 2012