LWCF Coalition Applauds Grants Expanding Access to Parks for All

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition today applauded the announcement made by United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, for $61 million to be allocated to communities across the country through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. These competitive grants are funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund – State and Local Assistance Program – that supports outdoor recreation projects to create and improve local parks in underserved areas.

“These ORLP grants fund projects from coast to coast that strengthen communities and boost local economies, bringing the myriad benefits of nature and outdoor recreation to areas that need additional access and investment,” said Diane Regas, President and CEO, Trust for Public Land. “We know that access to parks, green space and public lands improve physical, mental, and economic health. This important investment will help ensure that Americans of all ages and backgrounds benefit from access to the great outdoors.”

“Improving local parks in underserved areas is paramount – more outdoor access, particularly in areas with limited outdoor opportunities, helps individuals and communities thrive,” said Lesley Kane Szynal, Chair of the LWCF Coalition. “The ORLP Program is a vital part of LWCF and we applaud Secretary Haaland’s commitment to it through this announcement. We remain committed to help grow this vital program and LWCF as a whole to ensure that more people get more access to the outdoors while protecting our land and water resources.”

ORLP acquisition and development grants are used to support projects in cities that reinvigorate urban parks and other outdoor recreation spaces, with priority given to projects located in areas that are economically disadvantaged and lacking outdoor recreation resources.

Earlier this week, the LWCF Coalition applauded passage of the Outdoors for All Act as part of a legislative package approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, which would codify the ORLP program into law with key updates to make the program more inclusive and accessible to diverse, under-resourced communities. The bill, championed by Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Representatives Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44) and Michael Turner (R-OH-10), passed through the committee as part of the Outdoor Recreation package introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY).

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local level. For 55 years, it has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, recreational construction and activities and the continued historic preservation of our nation’s iconic landmarks from coast-to-coast. LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars – it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments. Outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation activities contribute more than $778 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 5.2 million jobs.

About the LWCF Coalition

The LWCF Coalition is the umbrella group of more than 1,000 state and local landowners, small businesses, ranchers, sportsmen, veterans, outdoor recreationists and conservation organizations working to protect America’s public lands and safeguard our shared outdoor heritage for future generations. For more information on LWCF and the places in each state that have been protected using LWCF funds, visit www.lwcfcoalition.com

About Trust for Public Land   

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.