Washington State Parks, recognizing Fort Worden’s unique attributes, developed a vision and plan to transform the fort into a financially self-sustaining lifelong learning center. After years of planning, Washington State Parks entered into a co-management agreement with the Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA) to carry out the vision of the Lifelong Learning Center. The PDA was established  to ensure that Fort Worden continues to operate as a vibrant, public resource that provides a confluence of creative learning, recreation and retreat opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The PDA is working to help renovate and fill the 70-plus historic buildings on Fort Worden’s campus, expand the number and types of partners and programming at the fort, and create an outstanding hospitality experience for guests. The Public Development Authority is a public corporation created by the City of Port Townsend.



Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center is a historic gathering place where visitors can immerse themselves in a magnificent setting and be transformed and renewed through innovative programs and self-discovery.


Fort Worden is a nationally-recognized destination for arts, culture, education, historic preservation and environmental stewardship. It is a confluence of creative learning, diverse recreation, and immersive retreats for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.


Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center is a partnership of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Fort Worden Public Development Authority, the Washington State Arts Commission, tenant nonprofit organizations, and major funders, achieving financial vitality through coordination and collaboration.

The partnership works collaboratively to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Promote personal growth and professional development through classes, conferences, expos, festivals, lectures, meetings, special events, and workshops for individuals and groups.
  2. Develop the capacity for non-profits to support annual operations.
  3. Attract public-private funding for capital projects and endowments.
  4. Restore, preserve and interpret the significant historical, cultural and natural resources of the Fort.
  5. Strengthen the reputation of and broaden awareness about the Lifelong Learning Center.



Fort Worden manages, restores and redevelops the campus and serves visitors, participants, volunteers and stakeholders by preserving the native environment, honoring historic significance, and strengthening the local, living economy.


The economic vitality of the Fort Worden is a direct function of the economic vitality of the partnership—Washington State, tenant nonprofits, organizational partnerships, the City of Port Townsend and its residents. All programs and services at the park are dynamically integrated and managed by the Fort Worden Public Development Authority in demonstration of shared and interrelated missions, values and economic strategies.

Learning: Creativity & Discovery

Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center serves participants dedicated to preserving and revitalizing cultural traditions, taking creative risks and generating new practices, ideas and conversations.

Culture of Hospitality

Programs, services and facilities are designed, developed and promoted to attract, welcome and be accessible to all individuals whose interests are aligned with the missions, visions and values of Fort Worden.


A commitment to individual health, renewal and transformation is enhanced by maintaining open spaces and facilities for retreat and enjoyment, as well as self-directed and organized outdoor programs that heighten respect for the natural and cultural environment.