Parks' Advocacy Brings in $40 M in Funds, NRPA Says

Parks and recreation facilities will get a boost from a $40 million allocation to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Stateside Assistance Program for fiscal year 2010, which the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Conference Committee announced last week.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) expressed its appreciation to members and coalition partners who took part in the 2010 LWCF advocacy campaign.

The funds match grants to assist states and localities in recreational planning, acquiring recreational lands and waters, and developing outdoor recreation facilities. During initial consideration of the bill in May 2009, the House Appropriations Committee originally voted to provide $30 million in funding to LWCF Stateside. With advocacy efforts and leadership by Reps. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and James McGovern (D-Mass.), an amendment resulted, bringing a total of $40 million on the House bill. The Senate version of the bill passed in September and provided $35 million for LWCF Stateside, but with additional advocacy efforts by NRPA membership and partners, the resulting sum of $40 million was passed.

The 2010 allocation reverses what had become a trend of decreased program funding over the last several years. However, while NRPA is pleased with the increase, the association has vowed to work toward full funding of the LWCF program at $900 million annually with $450 million being allocated to the program.

"Continued advocacy is more important than ever," said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA chief executive officer. "The parks and recreation community must continue to build momentum in its efforts to obtain full and dedicated funding, which has the potential to be 10 times the current amount of LWCF."

NRPA is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of some 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

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