Mayor Turner Speaks at Parks Rally
A March 1st rally in support of parks and wildlife drew nearly 1,000 people to the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Joining as a speaker was Dayton Mayor Michael R. Turner who represented The U.S. Conference of Mayors, one of the sponsors of the event.
In his remarks to the crowd, composed of Members of Congress, congressional staffs, conservation and recreation leaders, children, and senior citizens from across the country, Mayor Turner stressed the importance of local neighborhood parks and called upon Congress to pass the pending parks legislation. “Renewing the federal support of local parks can mean the addition of thousands of additional acres for conservation and recreation projects, including playgrounds, ball fields, national historic sites, scenic trails and nature reserves.”
The purpose of the rally was to build momentum for a permanent federal commitment this year to conserve parks, wildlife, open spaces, and wildlands. The proposed federal legislation would provide $125 million annually for the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR) and $450 million to the state and local assistance program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The rally was hosted by Women’s World Cup Chair Donna de Varona - a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner. Other speakers included the leading sponsors of the congressional parks legislation including Congressmen Don Young (AK) and George Miller (CA) and Senators Barbara Boxer (CA) and Mary Landrieu (LA). Sharon Robinson, daughter of the legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson also participated in the program.
The event ended with “Challenger,” the celebrity eagle who has flown at the World Series, White House, and Olympics, flying above the Capitol to the music of the national anthem.