Momentum for Park and Outdoor Equity as Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in the U.S. House

March 9, 2021
WASHINGTON

Today, Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Mike Turner (R-OH) and Joe Neguse (D-CO) introduced legislation calling for an historic $500 million federal investment in local parks, championing the movement led by the Trust for Public Land with over 200 community organizations and businesses to improve park and outdoor equity in the United States.  

The Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act will stimulate the creation of thousands of jobs and economic activity, expand park access for the one-in-three Americans who do not have a close-to-home park, while creating and improving parks in neighborhoods where they are needed most and are disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. 

“Park inequity has long plagued communities across the country and over the past year, the pandemic has exacerbated glaring disparities from this lack of access,” said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “This bipartisan legislation will provide urgently needed funding to help close the outdoor access gap that contributes to unacceptable disparities in health, climate resilience, and prosperity for too many people living in America. I’m grateful to Reps. Barragán, Turner, and Neguse for their commitment to helping address park inequity so that more people will have access to the healing benefits of nature.” 

To bring health, climate and community benefits of the outdoors to all, The Trust for Public Land is leading a coalition of more than 200 community organizations to push for federal equity funding. In the early months of the pandemic, The Trust for Public Land with its partners wrote to Congressional Leadership requesting this funding. The movement for park equity has been growing since.  

Parks are an essential part of improving public health, protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of the climate crisis, and building strong community cohesion. Yet, 100 million people, including 28 million kids, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home. Furthermore, the parks we do have are not equitable, as parks serving primarily Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other communities of color are half the size and serve five times more people per acre than parks in primarily white neighborhoods.  

The Trust for Public Land is also challenging the private sector to invest $50 million for the new Equitable Communities Fund to energize and accelerate the efforts of historically marginalized communities to create parks and open space across 62 communities where funding can be used immediately to help expand access. 

About The Trust for Public Land 

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org

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