Hunters receives $100K grant for park upgrades

By David Lewis

Hunters, WA – Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things,” and Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” Hunter’s resident Lilly Graves would have made them both proud as she helped Hunters obtain a $100,000 grant to upgrade the community park located off Highway 25 in the center of town. Now, she and many others will enjoy the upgraded park facility and reap the rewards of following these two fine principles.


The quiet little town of Hunters, WA, with a population of 413, was awarded the Local Parks Maintenance grant by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation office in November. A total of 4.7 million dollars was awarded to 53 communities across the state. The project must be completed by June 30, 2024.


Graves has been a Hunters resident for seven years and dreamed of upgrading the park with new playground equipment, a new kiosk, and improved restroom facilities. She organized various fundraisers to be able to accomplish her dream, and, although it was not an easy process, her persistence paid off.


In 2023, Graves initially applied for the Parks Maintenance grant through a local nonprofit organization only to find that nonprofits could not apply for this type of grant.


After further investigation, she found that the park is owned by the Hunters Water District, which qualified Hunters to apply for the grant. Then Graves contacted County Commissioner Mark Burrows for assistance, who put her in contact with Khalia Pickett, Stevens County Grant Administrator.


Graves provided Pickett with detailed information and explanations on how the community would benefit from the park upgrade, along with pictures. . Pickett’s expertise and knowledge was instrumental in Hunters being able to apply for and receive the grant.


For those looking for federal and state grants, visit Grants.gov. You can also contact the county’s grant administrator Khalia Pickett, at kpickett@stevenscountywa.gov, or 509-684-3751, ext. 3263.