Mayor Article

Parks Legislation Gains Support on Capitol Hill

By Tom McClimon


At the urging of mayors and parks advocates from across the country, over 265 Members of Congress have signed-on as co-sponsors of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 701). This legislation would for the first time in a number of years provide major funding for local parks and recreation programs.

A large number of mayors wrote letters or made phone calls to their Congressional representatives urging them to sign on to the legislation. Brookfield Mayor Kathryn Bloomberg , for example wrote: “I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 701 and support the legislation moving to the House floor - now -as a vehicle to secure full and permanent funding for LWCF (Land and Water Conservation Fund), UPARR (Urban Park and Recreation Recovery program), and other conservation and recreation programs. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been the backbone of the City of Brookfield’s outstanding park system. As we urbanize, our need will move to UPARR funds.”

With the large number of bi-partisan supporters, the House leadership will hopefully allow the legislation to come to a vote on the House floor this spring. The bill would provide $125 million annually for the UPARR program and $450 million annually to the stateside program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Parks Rally

On March 1, Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation (AHR) will hold a “Rally for Parks and Wildlife” on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is one of the co-sponsors of this event, which also includes organizations like the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, National Wildlife Federation, National Council on Youth Sports, and the National Recreation and Parks Association. Members of Congress, celebrities, and leading conservation and recreation leaders will be participating. More than 500 people are expected to participate.

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