Trust for Public Land Honors Conservation Leaders and Advocates for Outdoors for All Act during Annual “Day on the Hill”

Trust for Public Land Recognizes Representative Nanette Barragan (CA-44) and Senator Jon Tester (MT) for Their Commitment to Conservation and Park Equity

Washington D.C. – April 16th and 17th, Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) board members and volunteers convened in the U.S. Capitol for the annual “Day on the Hill” event, as part of the TPL’s 2024 efforts to advocate for the joys and benefits of America’s outdoors. During their visit, TPL leaders met with legislators to highlight the vital connection between the outdoors and health, climate, community, and equity and champion the Senate version of the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) provisions in America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), including the Outdoors for All Act (O4A).

“Our Day on the Hill event is critical in speaking to our legislative representatives about the importance of investing in parks and green spaces. But it’s not meant to be just one day of advocacy, it’s about building a movement because access to parks and the outdoors isn’t equal. More than 100 million people and almost 28 million children don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk of where they live, but the Outdoors for All Act is a pivotal step toward ensuring that every community, especially those historically underserved, has access to parks and green spaces,” said Luis Benitez, Trust for Public Land’s Chief Impact Officer. “That is why TPL’s Congressional efforts are so critical in closing this gap, and why we’re so grateful the House passed the EXPLORE Act, including Outdoors for All, and look forward to quick action in the Senate.”

O4A codifies and improves ORLP, the leading federal program for increasing access to parks and outdoor recreation in low-income communities. It also expands ORLP eligibility to include tribes and lowers the population requirement to 25,000, enabling many additional communities across the country to be eligible for funding.

As part of TPL’s “Day on the Hill” efforts in Washington, D.C., TPL honored two conservation leaders — Representative Nanette Barragan (CA-44) and Senator Jon Tester (MT) — with the “Trailblazer Award” for their longstanding commitment and lifelong contributions advancing successful policy, advocacy, and conservation efforts that connect everyone to the outdoors.

Benitez congratulated the award winners and highlighted their passion for advocacy saying, “Senator Tester and Representative Barragan’s continued commitment to conservation and connecting everyone to the outdoors, along with their passion for advocacy, has fueled conservation and park equity throughout the country. If we maximize the opportunities for all people to experience the health benefits of nature then every community—regardless of zip code—will be stronger, healthier, and more connected for generations to come. These exceptional trailblazers have demonstrated unwavering dedication to this mission, and we are humbled by the opportunity to honor and celebrate these two legislative champions.”

Representative Barragan was honored for her commitment to uplifting underserved communities through equitable park access. She serves as a voice for the communities that have been on the frontlines of the negative health impacts associated with climate change and environmental injustice and authored the Outdoors for All Act (H.R. 5413), which passed the House in early April as part of the bipartisan EXPLORE Act. Senator Tester was recognized for his years of support and action on the nation’s most effective and powerful conservation initiatives and policies. These include providing essential leadership in protecting a half a million acres of previously unprotected land in Montana, leading the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the Senate and his tireless advocacy for fully funding the Land Water Conservation Fund.

TPL’s legislative work has been instrumental in achieving several accomplishments, including the creation of nearly 5,400 parks, schoolyards, trails, and greenways across the country, and the protection of 4 million acres of land into the public’s hands. TPL led the effort to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the cornerstone of conservation in America. TPL has helped pass 645 ballot measures, with an 83 percent success rate, creating $93 billion in voter-approved funding for parks, land conservation, and natural climate solutions.

“We believe that parks are not just a ‘nice to have,’ but a ‘must have.’ They are necessary for communities’ health and well-being – and we won’t stop advocating for investment in green spaces until everyone can experience their benefits close to home,” concluded Benitez. 

For more than 50 years, TPL has worked to build a movement for the protection of America’s outdoors, parks, and green spaces. TPL hopes to receive support from the Senate in their efforts to pass the Outdoors for All Act and to increase funding for parks and green spaces, so that all communities can enjoy the benefits of nature.


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 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit