In a recent blog post by The Trust for Public Land they describe how nature has become a “vital respite from anxiety, grief, and cabin fever” and address the reality that not everyone has safe, equal access to the outdoors.
Nette Compton, their deputy director of national programs told Curbed last week, “Emergencies like this just go to show that in too many communities, parks and accessible natural areas are still considered a privilege, when they should be a right.”
“In early March, Congress introduced a bill that would go a long way toward guaranteeing the right to every American access to parks and natural areas. The Great American Outdoors Act would ensure full and dedicated funding—$900 million every year— to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a longstanding federal program that directs fees from oil and gas drilling to investments in parks and open space.”
“Investing in parks is investing in healthier, more resilient, more equitable communities. And considering the perilous economic position coronavirus has put us in, LWCF investments also stimulate economic growth, supporting 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual consumer spending on outdoor recreation, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. When Congress begins to consider an infrastructure spending bill to stimulate the economy and recover from the pandemic, we’ll be working to keep the momentum behind LWCF alive.”
Here are few places that LWCF funding is helping protect for people to enjoy, these projects will not be possible if Congress doesn’t guarantee the full $900 million for LWCF every year. Read the full blog here.