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Mayors for Parks Co-Chairs Praise LWCF Funding in President's Budget

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Fort Worth & Denver — Betsy Price, the Republican Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, and Michael B. Hancock, the Democratic Mayor of Denver, Colorado, who are co-chairs of the Mayors for Parks Coalition, praised the inclusion of federal funding for urban parks, trails and green spaces through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which was in the President’s budget for fiscal year 2015, released today.

“Mayors across the country are pleased that the President kept his promise to fully fund LWCF in his proposed budget,” said Mayor Price.  “A fully funded LWCF will mean that in Fort Worth, and in cities across America, mayors will be better equipped to rise to the challenge of providing enough open space to sustain vibrant communities.”

Added Mayor Hancock, “A strong LWCF will help ensure that cities remain competitive and continue to thrive for generations to come. This is a first step, and mayors will continue to work with the administration and Congress to support full funding of LWCF so more communities can realize the benefits of this critical program that supports urban parks and allows green spaces to flourish.”

Since its launch in December 2013, the bipartisan Mayors for Parks, a project of City Parks Alliance, has encouraged Congress and the White House to help create and maintain parks in urban areas. Specifically, the coalition is pushing for reauthorization and full funding of LWCF, which is set to expire in 2015. The mayors will be working over the next several months to broaden the coalition to include additional mayors and encourage federal legislators to support renewal and full funding of the LWCF.

To view the full press release, click here.

 

City Parks Alliance 2014 Webinar Series

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Measuring the Health Benefits of Urban Parks
May 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT

Understanding how urban parks have a positive effect on health can help park agencies develop programming with the goal of increasing fitness and overall well-being.  Panelists will discuss current trends in health research and how park agencies can leverage new data.

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Urban Parks Study Tour: Denver, CO

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August 1 – 2, 2014
Join City Parks Alliance for a one-of-a-kind study tour to learn about innovative approaches to park programming, sustainable funding, and management in Denver.  Registration is very limited. Deadline for general registration is June 30.

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CPA 2014 Day on the Hill

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Washington, DC
Thursday, May 8; 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
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Join City Parks Alliance members and friends for our annual Day on the Hill to make the case for federal investment in urban parks and greener cities.

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Department of Transportation and The North Face

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TIGER Discretionary Grants
Deadline: April 28, 2014

The TIGER Grant program provides an opportunity for the DOT to fund infrastructure projects that promise to achieve sustainability objectives.

The Explore Fund
Deadline: May 1, 2014
The Explore Fund aims to inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by supporting organizations that connect children with nature.

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Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Program 2014

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Deadline:
January 24, 2014

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Wastewater Management is seeking letters of interest from communities that want to implement green infrastructure to protect water quality and build more sustainable communities.

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New Bipartisan Group of Mayors to Encourage Congress, White House on Support for Parks

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Fort Worth and Denver — Betsy Price, the Republican mayor of Fort Worth, TX, and Michael B. Hancock, the Democratic mayor of Denver, CO, have launched a new bipartisan effort to support federal funding for public parks, trails and green spaces in urban areas. The Mayors for Parks coalition is a project of City Parks Alliance and will make the case to Congress and the White House about why parks are so vital to urban areas. Specifically, the coalition is pushing for re-authorization and robust funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is set to expire in 2015 and is a critical source of funding for city parks across the country.
 
The coalition launch this week is especially timely as legislators in Congress are in the midst of budget negotiations.
 
At its launch, the coalition includes Mayor Sean Becker (I) 
of Bozeman, MT; 
Mayor Chris Coleman (D) 
of St. Paul, MN; Mayor Charlie Hales (D) 
of Portland, OR; Mayor Greg Stanton (D)
 of Phoenix, AZ and Mayor Pedro Segarra (D) of Hartford, CT. The coalition also released two short web videos today of Mayor Price and Mayor Hancock discussing the importance of parks and LWCF funding for their cities.
 
Created in 1965, the LWCF has funded the creation of more than 42,000 state and local parks, playgrounds, urban wildlife refuges, greenways, trails and open spaces. The LWCF is also critical to protecting and improving recreational access to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The fund is paid for by royalties from offshore oil and gas development, but Congress has continually diverted funding from the LWCF – leaving it underfunded by millions of dollars each year. The mayors will be working over the next several months to broaden the coalition to include additional mayors and encourage federal legislators to support renewal and robust funding of the LWCF.
 
The mayors launched the coalition on a media conference call today. An audio recording is available upon request.

To view the full press release, please click here.

 

City Parks Alliance to Participate in First National Study of Urban Parks and Physical Activity

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Washington, DC — City Parks Alliance has received funding to participate in a four-year study with the RAND Corporation to determine the correlation between urban parks management and policies, and physical activity.  This will be the first national longitudinal study of neighborhood parks to observe park use in order to shape public policy on health promotion.  The research is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. 

The primary aims of the research are to identify and disseminate best practices. This study differs from others in that the researchers will employ systematic observation protocols to measure actual park use so there will be a common yardstick across cities.   

25 U.S. cities have been randomly selected to participate, with two hundred parks included in the survey.  The cities include:  Fresno, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Victorville, CA; Pueblo, CO; Westminster, CO; Columbus, GA; Gainesville, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, KS; Topeka, KS; Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Area, KY; Flint, MI; St. Louis, MO; Winston-Salem, NC; Lincoln, NE; Manchester, NH; Albuquerque, NM; Buffalo, NY; New York, NY; Yonkers, NY; Cleveland, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Waco, TX; and Dallas, TX.

The project will train a cadre of park professionals and members of community-based organizations that support neighborhood parks to act as “citizen scientists” and collect objective data. Engaging these citizen scientists in the research process is intended to increase local capacity to reliably measure park management practices, park characteristics, park use, and physical activity. They will each observe activity in neighborhood parks, between three and 15 acres in size.

To view the full press release, please click here.

 

City Parks Alliance Applauds Secretary Jewell's Speech in Support of Urban Park Investment and LWCF

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Washington, DC — City Parks Alliance commends Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for her remarks at the National Press Club in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and for the Interior Department’s initiative to connect future generations with our nation’s public parklands, including in urban areas.

“We applaud the Secretary’s strong support for full funding and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund that provides critical funds for conservation, including urban lands for public enjoyment and recreation,” said City Parks Alliance Executive Director Catherine Nagel.  “Continued federal support for urban parks is a critical step in assuring that our nation’s young people have opportunity and access to play and learn in the outdoors.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund’s “state side” grant program has enhanced the quality of life for urban residents and sustained local economies by funding the creation of more than 42,000 state and local projects including parks, playgrounds, urban wildlife refuges, greenways, trails and open space in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. In fact, more than 98% of the counties in the nation have a park project funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Seventy-six percent of the total funds obligated have gone to locally sponsored projects providing close-to-home recreation opportunities that are readily accessible to America's urban residents.

The LWCF’s state and local grant program was an essential resource for improving access to green spaces in urban communities when it was fully funded in the 1960s and 1970s. However, in recent years the state grant program has only been funded at a fraction of its authorized levels, severely limiting the program’s ability to provide outdoor opportunities to the more than 80% of Americans who live in urban areas.

Easy access to parks, green spaces, and recreation areas is critical to the wellbeing of urban communities. Investments in parks help grow local economies by creating jobs, increasing property values, and attracting the kinds of businesses, workforces, and private capital that will make metropolitan areas economically competitive in today’s global economy.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund can be an essential tool for city leaders as they seek to make their communities economically, environmentally and culturally vibrant through the creation of new and revitalized parks, green spaces and recreation opportunities.  

In addition to support for LWCF, Secretary Jewell reinforced her commitment to partnering with cities to improve urban parks and increase access for urban-dwelling Americans to get outside through a new initiative to develop partnerships in 50 cities to create opportunities for outdoor recreation for more than ten million young people by 2017.  City Parks Alliance supports the Department’s efforts to leverage urban parks to increase youth engagement with the outdoors through employment, learning and recreation.

 

Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grants Program

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Deadline:
January 31, 2014

The Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program will support projects that reduce communities’ vulnerability to the growing risks from coastal storms, sea level rise, flooding, erosion and associated threats through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife.

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