The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today approved a new resolution that supports reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) while emphasizing the need for additional urban park funding legislation. The resolution passed unanimously at the USCM annual meeting in Miami. Mick Cornett, the Mayor of Oklahoma City and President of the USCM, was the lead sponsor of the resolution. Cornett is a member of the bipartisan Mayors for Parks Coalition, a project of City Parks Alliance.
Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance’s Executive Director, praised the mayors for their full support of the resolution, saying, “The overwhelming bipartisan approval of the resolution by the mayors demonstrates the broad support that the Land and Water Conservation Fund enjoys across the country. Mayors know the critical role that parks play in improving the health and vitality of their cities and surrounding regions, and understand that LWCF is an important source of funding that protects and enhances our urban green spaces, and keeps our cities economically strong.”
Created in 1964 with strong bipartisan support, LWCF has supported more than 42,000 projects in almost every county in the country. The fund is paid for by offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayer dollars, making it one of the most effective federal programs.
The resolution urges Congress to support the passage of the new Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grant Program Act, under LWCF, which would codify the existing National Park Service program established by Congress that provides grants to disadvantaged urban communities. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) and Michael R. Turner (OH-10) on June 21.
The resolution reads: “The nation’s mayors stand ready to work in partnership with the President, all members of the administration, and Congress, to create healthy and vibrant urban parks and open spaces, and will work to engage the public and private leaders in this effort.”