This spring, dozens of outdoor fans let go of their inhibitions and danced to support Riverside State Park. The Outreach committee of the Riverside State Park Foundation jumped on the “HAPPY” bandwagon and sent a handful of amateurs and professionals with cameras into the park to capture “happy” users. Based on the popular song by Pharrell, we found rangers, hosts, hikers, bikers, rafters, kayakers, campers, sightseers, and a few talented animals willing to ham it up for the camera. The crew of Bayman’s Garage Media donated many hours to shoot and edit the video that was acquired, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. Watch the video here: http://youtu.be/eoYE2KV4pHg

The video is full of fun shots of dancers using the most inappropriate dancing gear – hiking boots, backpacks, wetsuits – while perched on bikes, horses and ORVs. Stunning aerial shots of the park are also included, featuring the Bowl and Pitcher and the Little Spokane Natural Area. Bayman’s Garage Media captured these dramatic shots with a small remote-controlled quad-copter, eliminating the need for a noisy, low-flying helicopter that would scare wildlife and annoy people on the ground.

The video was produced for two reasons: 1. to draw attention to Riverside State Park. This wonderful community asset in Spokane’s backyard includes thousands of acres of public land for outdoor recreation in Spokane and surrounding counties; and 2. to help everyone realize the need to embrace stewardship for the park through joining the Riverside State Park Foundation, including volunteering on trail building and maintenance and other park projects and making donations to help keep the park open and at its best.

Park Manager Chris Guidotti explains the need for citizen support: “As the state legislature grappled with huge budget deficits, Washington State Parks was forced to transition from an agency receiving about two thirds of our budget from general tax dollars to one that relies primarily on revenue we produce to keep our gates open.  With severe staff and budget cuts, our reliance upon grants, foundations, friends groups and volunteers increased dramatically.  This park belongs to the citizens of the state, and I am extremely grateful and encouraged by the amount of community involvement we receive. We couldn’t do it without you!”

To assist the park in replacing aging equipment, help fund the Volunteer Coordinator, and support annual events that bring in revenue, the Foundation is constantly working to recruit new members and sponsors. Community partnering especially with businesses directly related to outdoor recreation is incredibly important. The Foundation has been instrumental in acquiring grants and in-kind donations, as well as producing and hosting events in the park that provide wholesome entertainment and much-needed revenue, such as fun runs, bike races, the Dirty Dash, Zombie Hike and Winter Wonderland.

Foundation memberships for individuals, families, and businesses have recently been established. And unlike the funds from Discover Pass sales, revenue generated for Riverside State Park is returned directly to the park. We are hopeful more and more people will become aware of this need and support the Park in whatever way they can. Working together, we can keep Riverside a place to create many HAPPY memories! Watch the HAPPY video and learn more about Riverside and the Foundation: www.facebook.com/RiversideStatePark?fref=ts. //