Newswise — Ashburn, Va. (July 22, 2020) — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. This final vote on the legislation sends the Great American Outdoors Act to President Trump for his signature. The legislation will definitively fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF is the most important source of federal funding to create and develop local parks, trails, boat launches, sports fields and other recreation areas and park infrastructure that enrich our communities.
Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) issued the following statement in response to the bill’s passage:
“NRPA has worked for decades to ensure full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and, today, we are thrilled to see it through to fruition thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. This marks a huge win for our more than 60,000 members and advocates, who work tirelessly to serve the public through park and recreation opportunities in urban and rural communities throughout the country. More importantly, it is a huge win for every person in our country, as this critical funding advances our goal of ensuring everyone has access to the benefits of quality parks and recreation.
“Throughout the legislative process, The Great American Outdoors Act has enjoyed strong bipartisan support for providing critical resources to local communities for parks, recreation and conservation initiatives. NRPA is grateful to the Congressional champions, coalition partners and the many spirited stakeholders who helped ensure full and permanent funding for LWCF — a decades-long legislative goal for NRPA. Our members should be especially proud of their work in achieving this victory.”
A recent NRPA poll found that 83 percent of U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails and open spaces is essential for their mental and physical well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the Great American Outdoors Act, LWCF will receive $900 million annually by way of offshore oil and gas revenues — not taxpayer dollars. Billions in previously diverted funding will now be secured for future generations. Since the program was signed into law in 1965, 42,000 state and local park projects — in every state in the nation — have been funded through LWCF.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.