Champions for Urban Park Funding
The Mayor for Parks Coalition, a project of the City Parks Alliance, is a national, bipartisan coalition of mayors from large and small cities across the country that support strong park systems.
The coalition advocates for increased federal funding for our nation’s urban parks. Specifically, the coalition seeks full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), increased funding for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP), and inclusion of parks as an eligible component in any infrastructure package.
Mayors for Parks Highlights
- December 2013
Mayors for Parks Coalition Founded
The national, bipartisan coalition is founded by mayors from large and small cities that support strong park programs. Co-chairs are Mayor Michael B. Hancock (D) of Denver, Colorado, and Mayor Betsy Price (R) of Fort Worth, Texas.
- June 2014
Resolution Passed to Support LWCF
The Mayors for Parks Coalition was successful in securing the unanimous passage of a resolution from the U.S. Conference of Mayors supporting the reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
- January 2015
Press Briefing with Sally Jewell
City Parks Alliance held a Mayors for Parks press briefing with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and released a new report, “A Smart Investment for America’s Economy: The Land and Water Conservation Fund,” which highlights the success stories of LWCF in cities across America.
- February 2016
Full Funding for LWCF Proposed
President Obama includes full funding for LWCF in FY 2017 budget. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released a coalition statement praising President Obama’s decision to include full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the $900 million in his fiscal year 2017 budget.
- June 2017
Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) and Michael R. Turner (R-OH) introduced the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grant Program Act (ORLP) H.R. 2943. The ORLP Act would create a dedicated source of funding for city parks providing up to $25 million annually.
- March 2019
LWCF Permanently Authorized
On March 12, 2019, LWCF was permanently authorized as part of S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. The law also protects 2.3 million acres of wilderness and other public lands and is one of the largest conservation packages in a decade.
- June 2020
Senate Passes the Great American Outdoors Act
On June 17, 2020, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422). The legislation helps address the maintenance backlog within the National Park System, and also fully and permanently dedicates $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- July, 2020
House Passes the Great American Outdoors Act
On July 22, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation helps address the maintenance backlog within the National Park System, and also fully and permanently dedicates $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- August, 2020
Great American Outdoors Act Signed Into Law
On August 4, 2020, the President signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law permanently dedicating $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and helps address the maintenance backlog within the National Park System.
Mayors for Parks Co-Chairs
Increased Federal Funding for Parks
Mayors for Parks is one strategy that City Parks Alliance uses to draw attention to the need for greater funding. Based in Washington, DC, we also work with various traditional and non-traditional coalitions to advocate for greater federal investment in our nation’s parks by regularly meeting with Congressional offices and the administration, developing tools, publishing opinion columns to highlight the benefits of park funding, and organizing an annual Day on the Hill.
With the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in early 2019, City Parks Alliance is now working with the Mayors for Parks Coalition, our members, and others to seek full and dedicated funding for LWCF, increased funding for city parks through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program, and inclusion of parks as an eligible component in any infrastructure legislation.