Congress Passes “Great American Outdoors Act,” a Historic Win for City Parks

Congress Passes “Great American Outdoors Act,” a Historic Win for City Parks

City Parks Alliance, Mayors for Parks Co-Chairs Praise the Increase to Urban Park Funding

Washington, DC – The House of Representatives has passed the “Great American Outdoors Act,” which permanently dedicates $900 million per year in funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund and reduces the maintenance backlog on our public lands.

The following statement is from Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of the City Parks Alliance: 

“This historic, bipartisan commitment by the U.S. House of Representatives will permanently fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), reduce the maintenance backlog on our public lands, and provide more equitable access to nature for millions of families. The LWCF has been one of our nation’s most successful conservation programs, creating vibrant parks that support public health, the environment, workforce development, the economy, and our communities.

“During the coronavirus pandemic we have experienced a renewed understanding of the important role parks and greenspace play in our physical and mental health, and parks will play an essential role in the recovery of our cities. Permanent funding for the LWCF will help provide access to parks and outdoor recreation opportunities for those who need it most.”

The following statements are from Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth, TX, and Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver, CO, Co-Chairs of the Mayors for Parks Coalition: 

“I am thrilled to see the Great American Outdoors Act pass with bipartisan support. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, parks, trails and greenspaces have played an essential role in our communities offering emotional and physical health benefits. We have also seen the positive impact a healthy lifestyle can play in the fight against COVID-19, which is why it is critical we expand park access for the one-in-three Americans who do not have a close-to-home park. Establishing the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Fund and funding the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will result in developing new or revitalizing existing urban parks, greenspaces, and recreation opportunities, as well as stimulating job creation and economic activity.” – Mayor Betsy Price, City of Fort Worth, TX

“Growing up here in Denver, there are few fond memories I have that aren’t in some way linked to our city’s cherished parks. They were the place where my family, my friends and my neighbors all gathered to build and strengthen our community.

“Today is a historic day for city parks and I applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for Passing the Great American Outdoors Act.” – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver, CO

Since 1964, the Land & Water Conservation Fund has supported more than 44,000 state and local parks, playgrounds, urban wildlife refuges, trails, and open spaces. The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program, a program within LWCF, directs funds specifically to underserved urban communities for new outdoor recreation spaces and renovations to existing parks and recreation centers.

Since its launch in December 2013, the bipartisan Mayors for Parks Coalition, a project of City Parks Alliance, has encouraged Congress and the White House for increased federal investment for city parks.


City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. Its mission is to engage, educate and nurture a broad based constituency to support the creation, revitalization and sustainability of parks and green spaces that contribute to dynamic cities. City Parks Alliance unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, government agencies, parks and recreation authorities, funders and others. 

Media Contact:

Tom McCann
Director of Communications and Marketing
[email protected]


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