Laurie Connelly appointed as new commissioner
OLYMPIA – July 29, 2021 – This month, Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Mary “Laurie” Connelly of Spokane as the newest member of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Connelly, a retired attorney and university administrator, received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and served as associate to the president and chief of staff to the president at Eastern Washington University. Connelly also served as an assistant city attorney for the city of Spokane where she advised and represented the Spokane Park Board.
“Laurie’s experience working in the public sector and advocating for outdoor recreation will be a valuable addition to the commission,” said Commission Chair Mike Latimer from Yakima. “She has big shoes to fill, but I’m confident that her wealth of knowledge and passion for the outdoors make her up for the challenge. We are excited to welcome Laurie to the commission.”
Connelly’s lifelong passion for outdoor recreation began when she was a child living in Minnesota. Her memories include visiting local parks and taking family vacations to hike, camp and fish in Canada and across the western United states. In Spokane, she enjoys visiting Mt. Spokane and Riverside State Parks to cross country ski, snowshoe, hike and cycle.
"I believe that parks enhance our quality of life,” said Connelly. “I am excited to serve as a steward of the State Parks resources to help protect and preserve property for future generations while providing excellent recreational experiences for all citizens of our state. I look forward to building relationships with public and private partners to continue improving and maintaining our outstanding state park system.”
Connelly’s term runs through Dec. 31, 2026. She takes the seat vacated by Commissioner Lucinda Whaley of Spokane, whose term expired in December 2020. Connelly’s term officially began July 19.
Laurie Connelly – Commissioner
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About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
News release number: 21-045