2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

return to table of contents

THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND AND THE URBAN PARK AND RECREATION RECOVERY PROGRAM

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a visionary and bipartisan program established by Congress in 1964 to create parks and open spaces, protect wetlands and refuges, preserve wildlife habitat, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance recreational opportunities for all Americans; and

     WHEREAS, the sister program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program, was created to address the needs of inner city recreation by providing matching grants and technical assistance for the rehabilitation of recreational facilities to economically distressed urban communities; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation fund should receive $900 million dollars annually derived from royalties from Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing; and

     WHEREAS, for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program to have a far reaching affect, it should be funded at $125 million annually; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund returns conservation and recreation funds back to local communities and governments; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been responsible for the acquisition and enhancement of more than 40,000 community parks in forty years of existence; and

     WHEREAS, the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program has been responsible for the rehabilitation of thousands of community centers, urban parks, and community pools; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program have been integral to a healthy and safe community life through funding state and municipal parks, and creating neighborhood soccer, baseball, and football fields; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund promotes smart growth and livable communities; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program both help Americans become physically active thereby contributing to a healthier lifestyle that can provide a better quality of life for all Americans; and

     WHEREAS, the need to preserve open spaces, develop national, state, and local parks and recreational facilities, manage wildlife, and preserve America’s historic treasures becomes more critical each year due to the demands placed on such facilities by ever increasing populations; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program are critical resources for providing direct access to recreational places for Americas young people; and

     WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund advances economic and job development in cities; and

     WHEREAS, the municipalities have been the recipients of thousands of Land and Water Conservation Fund stateside grants that have added parks, wetlands, and helped millions of Americans gain access to recreation areas; and

     WHEREAS, municipalities have been recipients of Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program matching grants that have rehabilitated community centers, pools, and helped to make urban parks safer places for kids to recreate; and

     WHEREAS, the 2004 stateside appropriation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund was $94 million and the Federal side appropriation was $177 million, which combined is more than two thirds below the full amount that it was designated to receive annually; and

     WHEREAS, the last two years, the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program has been zeroed out in the appropriations process and has left many inner city communities without a designated resource to address their needs for recreation.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Congress, in its annual appropriations process, authorize 20% of Outer Continental Shelf revenues to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at its authorized level of $900 million and that they designate $125 million to the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program to assist the recreation needs of economically distressed communities.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that authorizing legislation permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program represents the most effective long-term solution to enhancing municipal recreation needs and should be vigorously pursued by Congress.