The Power of Speaking up for Parks

By Trust for Public Land
Published July 2, 2021

The Power of Speaking up for Parks

Summer vacation season is getting into full swing, and we’re looking forward to spending the longest days of the year outside with our friends and families. Whether you’re planning a barbecue in your neighborhood park or plotting a cross-country road trip, chances are, you’ll be spending time at a place that’s gotten a boost from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

A boy swings on a playground in the sunOnce the site of an abandoned factory, Kellogg Park now welcomes thousands of people in Ventura, California. It’s one of the great city parks we’ve helped created with LWCF funding.Photo credit: Annie Bang

LWCF is the federal program that uses royalties from oil and gas drilling to fund investments in public lands and community parks. Since Congress created the program in the 1960s, communities have used LWCF funding for over 150,000 park projects across the country. When this crucial source of federal funding faced threats in Congress, Trust for Public Land supporters mobilized to help save it. In 2019, we celebrated the final act in a decades-long effort to save LWCF, when Congress voted in bipartisan consensus to fully fund the program every year in perpetuity.

[Read more about the 30-year fight to save America’s most important parks program.]

It was a huge legislative victory, and it will continue to pay off for kids and families for generations to come. And it couldn’t have happened without lots of support and advocacy from our community here at Trust for Public Land. So as you get for your summer adventures, check out this interactive map showing almost every project in the country where LWCF has made a difference—and pat yourself on the back for being a crucial part of the force that’s working to make sure every kid, on every block, in every city in America has a great park close to home.

The future of this important federal program is guaranteed—but that doesn’t mean our fight for policies that will advance park equity is done. Right now, our team of experts in Washington, DC, is leading a coalition of 300 groups calling for an emergency $500 million in federal funding for the parks our communities so urgently need. That bill—the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act—crossed a major milestone just this week, when it was introduced to the Senate.

[Read about how park advocates and the outdoor industry are teaming up for outdoor equity]

If you believe every kid should have access to the outdoors, there’s more you can do: sign the petition and let your representative know you support the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act today.

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