Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), issued the following statement regarding Congresswoman Nanette Barragán’s push to codify the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program into law:
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Outdoors for All Act through an amendment by Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA). This important action is a major step in the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program becoming law — protected to fulfill its promise of increasing access to quality parks and green spaces for all. The ORLP program provides crucial funding for urban areas that lack local access to parks, and this amendment will help our collective efforts to increase equity in outdoor recreation.
The Outdoors for All Act, which was introduced in 2019 by then-Senator Kamala Harris, directs the U.S. Department of the Interior to permanently establish ORLP. The program awards federal funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as part of a nationally competitive grant program for urban parks. Through this program, eligible entities are provided funding for the development of new parks and/or renovation of existing outdoor recreation facilities. Priority for this funding is given to communities that have sizeable populations that are economically disadvantaged and are underserved in terms of outdoor recreation opportunities.
Although ORLP was established in 2014, it was created by an appropriations act, which means it was not a permanent program. Codifying ORLP into law will ensure that the program is not upended, as it was in the final days of the previous administration.
We commend the representatives who voted for this amendment and are grateful for Congresswoman Barragán’s leadership on this critical legislation. ORLP will ensure that future generations will have access to the social, physical and mental health benefits that local parks and recreation provides.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.