Today, NRPA President and CEO Barbara Tulipane provided public comment to the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) State Assistance Program. While hundreds of organizations request to testify each year, only a hand full of organizations actually receives an invitation to testify.
Barbara represented the powerful network of public parks and recreation at all levels – city, county, township, and state.
NRPA outlined three main requests to the subcommittee, who are currently crafting the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior Appropriations Bill:
- Provide ample funding for the LWCF – this program has resulted in numerous benefits and helps park and recreation agencies continue to address some of the nation’s most critical problems like health and protecting the environment.
- Allocate 40 percent of total LWCF appropriations to the State Assistance Program – and invest in local communities. Over the last 25 years the State Assistance program has received only 11 percent of total LWCF funding, yet the places and services this program funds are where the most people recreate every day and where the funding is most needed.
- Specify no State Assistance dollars are to be used for a DOI’s proposed competitive grant – A competitive grant controlled by the DOI will diminish the current ability of the LWCF program to serve the most communities and most people in an equitable way.
Her testimony emphasized how absolutely essential public park and recreation services are to all communities and affirmed the importance of LWCF and the State Assistance program.
Barbara’s message was loud and clear to the committee and in good timing too, with the Legislative Forum next week. Now, it is time for all advocates to echo her message when taking to the Hill.
More on the day’s hearings and other testimony will be reported tomorrow on the blog by Editorial Director Phil Hayward.