Washington’s largest State Park recently hired Diana Dupuis to be the Riverside State Park Area Manager. Although this is a new position, Diana has been with Washington State Parks for many years. She worked as a park ranger at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, then a region manager in the Northwest Region, and then operations manager for the agency for the last two years.

“I fell in love with the Little Spokane Natural Area as soon as I saw it. I am a conservationist at heart, so I love a good natural area, and it is coupled with some great recreational opportunities like kayaking and hiking, which makes it a wonderful spot for everyone,” said Dupuis following her move to Spokane. “I feel myself let go a little when I am surrounded by all of that natural beauty, and I can breathe a little easier. It’s a beautiful place.”

It’s impossible to pinpoint all of her duties, but Dupuis is active in many different areas including Riverside, the Centennial Trail, the Little Spokane Natural Area, Long Lake, as well as the Friends of the Spokane House and The Riverside State Park Foundation. Dupuis added, “There is an energetic community that loves this park and is dedicated to being an active part of its success. The other truly tremendous asset is the staff – another group of people who truly love this place and work very hard to bring a great recreational experience to the people of Washington.”

When asked what is the biggest misconception about Riverside, Dupuis responded, “I think so many people who live in the area don’t know that we are here, that they have a wonderful 15,000 acre playground twenty minutes from their home. I thought we would be better known in the community because we are so close to it, but I keep hearing how so many residents don’t know about the park. I guess we have to do a better job of getting the word out.”

No one anticipates any dramatic changes in the park in the coming years, but there will be some repairs and renovations to the Centennial Trail, more events at the equestrian area, and multiple trailhead improvements. Learn more about the park at the Riverside State Park Foundation website at Sites.google.com/site/riversidestateparkwa. //