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THE MAYORS FOR PARKS COALITION ADVOCATES FOR INCREASED FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OUR NATION’S CITY PARKS.

The Coalition supports a one-time historic investment of $500 million for our nation’s city parks to help during the current global pandemic.  The Coalition also supports increased funding for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP), a program within LWCF that delivers funding to urban areas with priority given to projects located in economically disadvantaged areas and lacking in outdoor recreation opportunities.

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Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP)

Created in 1965 with strong bi-partisan support, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of the nation’s most important tools for creating and protecting green space in America’s urban and rural areas.

The LWCF has two key components:

  • The “state side” program takes a ground-up approach by providing matching grants directly to states, counties, and local governments for parks and open space projects.
  • The “federal side” program conserves land for national parks, national rivers and trails, national forests, and national wildlife refuges.

The LWCF is funded primarily through revenues from offshore oil and gas royalties paid by energy companies drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.  The fund was created with a key principle in mind: use a portion of revenues from the depletion of one natural resource owned by all Americans−offshore oil and gas−to support the conservation of another precious resource: our land and water.

A few key facts about the Land and Water Conservation Fund “state side” program:

  • More than 98% of the counties in the nation have a park funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  • ‍The $4.8 billion appropriated for the LWCF “state side” grant program has been matched by State and local contributions for a total investment of $9.6 billion—doubling the return on investment.
  • The LWCF “state side” grant program has provided more than 44,000 grants to the 50 states, District of Columbia and the Territories of the United States, benefitting more than 10,800 public agencies.
  • The LWCF supports projects in your backyard. Over the years, 76% of the total grant funds have gone to locally sponsored projects providing close-to-home recreation opportunities.

The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP)

The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) is a LWCF program that was created in 2014. The ORLP is a nationally competitive grant program that delivers funding to urban areas – jurisdictions of at least 50,000 people – with priority given to projects located in economically disadvantaged areas and lacking in outdoor recreation opportunities. These awards help urban communities address outdoor recreation deficits by supporting projects in cities and densely populated urbanized areas that create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors. 

Economic Impact of City Parks

City Parks Alliance’s report, “A Smart Investment for America’s Economy: The Land and Water Conservation Fund,” highlights success stories of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in cities across America. The report details how cities used LWCF grants to create measurable environmental, economic, and public health returns on urban park investments. 

Download the report

 

Local Parks Stimulus Facts Sheet

PARKS ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE

City parks play a vital role in the social, economic and physical well-being of America’s cities and their residents.  As cities become more densely populated and concern about the impact of climate change increases, planners, elected officials, and community advocates are taking a fresh look at parks and their potential to help address critical urban infrastructure and public health issues.   

Read City Parks Alliance’s new report which highlights 11 parks across America that serve as critical infrastructure for their city, providing health, economic, and environmental benefits.
  
DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (3.3MB PDF)

Since 2000, the number of young, educated adults moving to livable, walkable urban neighborhoods has increased

37%

Job opportunities in the outdoor industry dwarf those in oil & gas.

Oil & Gas Industry

2.1 million jobs

Outdoor Industry

6.1 million jobs

Parks save Philadelphia 14 billion dollars in water management costs.

Gray Infrastructure

$16 billion in costs

Green Infrastucture

$2 billon in costs

HEALTH IMPACT of City Parks

provides an overview of the physical, mental and environmental health benefits provided by urban parks and highlights the important role that LWCF plays in supporting strong, healthy communities across America.
DOWNLOAD THE Health REPORT (3MB PDF)

Maintaining a healthy weight saves

$1,500

per person in healthcare costs a year.

The high yearly costs of chronic diseases in the U.S.

Obesity

$147B

Diabetes

$245B

Heart Disease

$108B

The presence of parks in cities promotes healthy lifestyles that can be one of several factors that mitigate these costs.

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