The Park Board works closely with staff to develop projects for the parks and to continually shape the vision for parks and recreation throughout the County. The Park Board provides specific advice to the County Commissioners regarding opportunities for new park lands, capital improvements within existing parks, and on matters of rules, regulations, and policies in the parks.
Park Board members are appointed by the County Commissioners to six-year terms. The Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Commissioner's Board Room of the Benton County Justice Center unless otherwise posted.
During the summer months, regular Board meetings are often held as "field meetings" on-site in some of the parks.
2016 Park Board Members
John Becker (Vice Chair)
John is a Tri-Cities native who lived west of the mountains for several years before returning to the area to oversee the local branch of his surveying and civil engineering firm. He is an avid mountain climber and trail runner who joined the Park Board in 2014.
Robin Emmingham (Chair)
A retired school teacher and principal, Robin joined the Board in 2013 and fills his free time with golf, travel, and other active pursuits.
Richard started in the tire business in Portland in 1968 and is currently the Executive Director of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association. He and his wife also previously owned the Spaghetti Establishment in Kennewick. He is a founding member of the Kiwanis Club of the Horse Heaven Hills and is a member of the Rattlesnake Ridge Riders.
Raised on a farm in Missouri, Donna is a mother of two and grandmother of five. A bona fide animal-lover living in Kennewick, Donna owns 2 horses, 2 dogs, and 12 cats. Donna is the Board's primary special events coordinator and its longest-tenured member, having joined the Board in 2000.
Yessica is the most recent addition to the Park Board, having joined in 2016. She and her husband enjoy giving back to the community and setting an example of volunteering for their two young children.
Diana Ruff (Secretary)
Diana is a Richland native now living in Kennewick where she is also a practicing attorney. She spent a year on the Richland Parks & Recreation Commission before joining the Park Board, and enjoys working with the volunteers of the Benton County park system as well as recruiting new volunteers for short and long-term projects in the parks. In her spare time she and her husband enjoy running and biking, and hiking Badger Mountain with their two children.
UPDATED - 12/12/2016