WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) joined Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Senator Padilla (CA), Senator Collins (ME) in introducing HR 5413, the Outdoors for All Act. This legislation permanently authorizes the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Program (ORLP), a grant program that provides direct funding to cities and localities to develop, restore and maintain their local parks and other outdoor recreation spaces.
Following the introduction of the bill, Congressman Turner, Congresswoman Barragán, Senator Padilla, Senator Collins and Five Rivers MetroParks Executive Director Becky Benná released the following statements:
“This bill would provide investments into recreational areas and parks in lower-income communities to ensure that they are well maintained and safe for people to gather and participate in outdoor activities,'' said Rep Turner. “According to the Trust for Public Land, 78% of Daytonians are within a 10-minute walking distance to a park, and with COVID-19 still present, it is now more important than ever to give communities a well-kept outdoor space to social distance and spend time.”
“Five Rivers MetroParks (FRMP), located in southwest Ohio, provides outdoor recreation, education and land conservation to the citizens of Montgomery County. We are very supportive of the Outdoors for All Act that would permanently authorize the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) under the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said CEO of FRMP Becky Benná. “This funding will assist us, as well as other local and regional public agencies to:
- Expand access to outdoor recreation and job opportunities in cities and towns, particularly in underserved and low-income areas.
- Create dedicated grant funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to create and improve local parks, trails and outdoor recreation areas, as well as protect and preserve open space and wildlife habitats.
- Expand outdoor access for all – FRMP manages and maintains approximately 16,000 acres of parks and conservation areas and offers free access to all, including urban, suburban and rural communities.”
“By passing the Outdoors for All Act, we make it crystal clear that funding for urbans parks is here to stay. Far too many low-income communities and communities of color lack access to a nearby park or green space. Green spaces are crucial for the health and well-being of our communities. By preserving the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, we will provide much needed urban parks funding for underserved communities throughout our country,” said Congresswoman Barragán.
“No matter your zip code, everyone should have access to outdoor space in their community,” said Senator Padilla. “Having grown up in Los Angeles, I know all too well how people living in urban areas often lack adequate park space, an injustice that negatively impacts our communities and our environment. The Outdoors For All Act would invest in new parks and open spaces—and upgrade existing ones—to bring nature’s benefits to urban residents’ doorsteps. Improving park access will provide benefits like shade, tree cover, and clean air that are critical as we grapple with the intensifying effects of the climate crisis.”
“Our state is fortunate to have abundant natural resources that allow Mainers and visitors to enjoy our pristine environment,” said Senator Collins. “Regrettably, many Americans, particularly those living in urban and low-income areas, lack access to outdoor green spaces that give them the ability to experience the beauty and tranquility of nature close to home. This bipartisan bill would invest in these communities to support parks, playgrounds, trails, and other projects that will help ensure that all Americans have outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Read the Full Text of the bill here.