NRPA’s public policy team was thrilled to be joined by members of NRPA’s Board of Directors for meetings with key congressional and administrative offices last week in D.C. Despite the federal government having just re-opened following a three-day shutdown, board members and NRPA staff were met with very positive and encouraging feedback on 2018 legislative priorities.
Here’s what we discussed with members of Congress, Capitol Hill staffers and officials from the Administration:
Parks are infrastructure. In any infrastructure package put forward by the Administration and Congress, we ask that investments are made to enhance community connectivity. Our nation’s infrastructure needs reach well beyond bridges and highways. Parks and the walkways, bike paths, and trails connecting parks to local communities must be prioritized.
As the second largest provider of USDA summer and afterschool meal programs, park and recreation agencies have established a significant foundation of work in fighting hunger and improving nutrition for our nation’s youth. We hope to build upon this success and create new opportunities for collaboration with local farmers, producers and distributors to assist in the execution of a nationwide healthy food pipeline.
In order to preserve, develop and ensure access to outdoor recreation, Congress must fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). We also ask that the LWCF State Assistance Program receives robust funding at 40 percent of overall LWCF allocations.
Thank you to NRPA’s Board of Directors for assisting us in moving our legislative agenda forward. We are eager to continue the conversation with the contacts that were made and we encourage all NRPA members to consider how we may assist you in connecting with your members of Congress. And, as always, we invite you to become a Park Champion and serve as your agency’s very own advocate!