Parks and Open Space Commission


The purpose of this commission is to bring citizen perspective to the operation of Washington County Parks. The commission reviews current operation policies, capital improvement programs, parkland preservation, park development projects, and long-range planning efforts for parkland and facilities for county parks. The commission recommends plans and policy changes to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

The commission is also used to provide citizens' perspectives on the administration of the Land and Water Legacy Program. The commission provides input on programming priorities and policies and evaluates land protection proposals using the prioritization criteria adopted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

The Parks Commission is appointed by the County Board and consists of 12 members;
  • One County Commissioner
  • One Parks director
  • Ten resident citizen members, two appointed from each County Commissioner District
  • Two resident citizen members appointed at large who have a strong knowledge of and interest in the county's Land and Water Legacy Program
Appointees are recruited through the open appointment process. Citizen applicants must complete the required county application for appointment and submit any background information requested. The County Board, at its discretion, may interview any applicant seeking appointment to the Washington County Parks & Open Space Commission. The County Board reserves the right to conduct background screening of any applicant to determine suitability for appointment to this commission due to the nature and content of the work involved.

Applicants seeking appointment should have an interest in park issues, especially outdoor recreation and the preservation of open space.

Task force and subcommittees

The Washington County Parks & Open Space Commission may at times establish additional task forces or subcommittees to study a special issue or conduct specials projects and programs. The members of a task force or subcommittee serve only as long as needed to study and report on the special issue, project, or program.

Additional community involvement may be sought for task forces and subcommittees if needed for additional expertise or resources. Any additional representatives are considered ad hoc and do not have voting privileges in the task force or subcommittee.


The Commissioner District representatives and the at-large members are appointed for terms of three years and remain on the committee until a successor is appointed. Terms begin in January. Members are eligible for a total of three three-year terms or a total of nine years.

An appointment created by a vacancy is for the unexpired term of the former member. An appointment to finish out an unexpired term of a committee member does not count toward the three three-year term limit.

The County Board, at its discretion, may replace an appointed member at any time when, in the opinion of the County Board or the County Commissioner appointing the member, it is in the best interest of the county to do so.

Meeting requirements

The Washington County Parks & Open Space meets on the third Thursday of each month. However, this schedule may be amended to suit the convenience of the members.


Members of the Washington County Parks and Open Space Commission are eligible to receive meeting per diem and mileage reimbursement at the rate established by the County Board.

Operating procedures

This advisory committee operates in accordance with the operating procedures established by the county.