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Parks and Recreation Advisory Board


The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) provides recommendations on plans and programs designed to enable the Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain and improve city parks and provide recreation programs for the general welfare of the people of the city. The PRAB advises the City Council, Mayor, Department of Parks and Recreation Director, and other city departments. A major PRAB objective is to develop public interest in the Parks and Recreation Department's activities and to solicit, to the fullest extent possible, participation of community groups, the general public, and public and private agencies.

Typical Activities and Actions

The PRAB recommends facility development plans and advises on annual and 6-year plans. It reviews and helps modify or create individual park development plans. The board makes recommendations about Bellingham parks programming priorities and fees. The board also attends hearings and advises on controversial issues.

Board Meetings and External Activities

PRAB meetings are typically held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. in the Mayor's Board Room at City Hall unless stated otherwise on the meeting agenda. Meetings last approximately two hours. Time spent outside of meetings varies with the degree of participation by each board member. See Meetings and Events for currently scheduled meetings.

Board Member Requirements

The board consists of eleven members appointed by the Mayor. Ten members are selected at large from the citizenry of Bellingham and the Bellingham School District Superintendent recommends one board member to the Mayor. To be eligible to serve on the board an individual:

  • Must be a citizen and electorate of the city;
  • Must be a resident of the state for at least three years;
  • Must be a resident of the city for at least two years;
  • Cannot be employed by the City of Bellingham;

PRAB membership is three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms. Additionally, one student representative from a city school may be appointed at the mayor's discretion to serve a one year term. No compensation is paid to board members.

Considering an Application?

Those considering application to the PRAB should be willing and able to review and discuss all topics that come before the board with an open mind and during the decision making process act for the general welfare of the people of the City, as stated in this board's charter. The following are considered positive attributes for potential PRAB member candidates:

  • Be willing and able to regularly attend monthly meetings;
  • Be willing and able to regularly attend other board meetings as an appointed liaison;
  • Be prepared for said meetings and provide appropriate and timely follow-up;
  • Always act as an advocate for all Bellingham citizens;
  • Keep an open mind during discussions;
  • Set-aside personal issues, agendas and disagreement;
  • Be considerate of others and other opinions.


Main Office

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
210 Lottie St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: (360) 778-7000
E-mail: parksboard@cob.org