King County Library System (KCLS) is proud to participate in Check Out Washington, the popular interagency program that allows library card holders to check out adventure packs and special Discover Passes. Check Out Washington has expanded with new adventure packs, a new partnership and additional funding. The expansion prioritizes communities where health disparity data indicates a higher need for free access to recreation opportunities.The
The Washington State Parks Foundation secured a sponsorship from the Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) to fund the purchase of more than 400 additional passes. The partnership led to further collaborations with Parks, the State Library System and the Office of the Secretary of State to create new adventure packs that enhance the exploration and enjoyment of state parks.
KCLS now offers nearly 200 Check Out Washington adventure packs. Patrons can reserve a pack for 14 days with their KCLS library card. The packs include items to help first time visitors, including a Discover Pass for free parking, educational materials, and a set of three laminated pocket guides about Washington trees, wildlife and birds. A high-quality set of binoculars funded by the Washington State Parks Foundation is also included in the pack.
“With the Check Out Washington program, a KCLS library card becomes your ticket to outdoor adventures,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We are thrilled to offer more adventure packs to King County residents, and we thank all Check Out Washington partners for making this expansion possible.”
The expansion triples the capacity of the Check Out Washington program, prioritizing locations where it is needed most. The Parks Foundation, WSECU, Washington State Library and the Office of the Secretary of State are distributing the adventure packs to 10 rural and urban libraries that serve diverse communities experiencing environmental health disparities, including KCLS.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand Check Out Washington for more people who want to discover and explore Washington’s beautiful state parks,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones. “Libraries are among the heart of our communities, offering boundless resources to the public. Their participation in this program helps deepen their connection to the people they serve.”
“We are so excited to support Washington State Parks, the Washington State Parks Foundation and the State Library System with the expansion of Check Out Washington,” said WSECU Vice President of Public Relations Ann Flannigan. “This program helps remove access barriers to state lands and provides any resident with an opportunity to experience these public treasures.”
Check Out Washington launched in 2019 as a partnership between Washington State Parks and Washington State Library with seed money and program development from the Foundation and support from the Washington departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). In 2020, the State Legislature pledged $35,000 a year to buy two special passes for every library in Washington that wants them.
“It’s been our goal since the program started in 2019 to continue expanding offerings throughout the state,” said newly appointed Washington State Parks Director Diana Dupuis. “We thank WSECU and the Foundation for their generous support with this effort and look forward to seeing more Check Out Washington visitors out in our parks.”
“We’re so pleased to be facilitating this team effort to expand the Check Out Washington program to encourage more first-time users,” said Washington State Parks Foundation Executive Director John Floberg. “The most exciting thing for me is to see this private-public partnership specifically focused on helping those across Washington who are least likely to be able to visit state parks.”