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  • 11 Aug 2014 12:49 PM | Liz Langenbach (Administrator)

    Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
    Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    A bipartisan group of lawmakers joined environmentalists today to call on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, emphasizing its importance to the recreational industry as the fund hits its 50th anniversary.

    Speaking to a packed Senate hearing room, four lawmakers -- Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) -- pointed to parks and public lands in their states as proof that LWCF is successful. The fund is the government's main vehicle for acquiring new lands, protecting private lands and funding urban recreation.

    "This program really is essential to preserve our national heritage and open space," Collins said, later adding: "In states like Maine, the environment is the economy."
    LWCF hasn't been fully funded since Congress enacted it in 1965, despite having a dedicated funding stream from offshore drilling revenues. This year, LWCF received $300 million, far below the $900 million annual authorization. While it is supported by conservationists, sportsmen and Democrats, it faces some resistance from Republicans who think the government should pause land acquisition until agencies like the National Park Service catch up on billions of dollars in maintenance.
    LWCF supporters have ramped up their public relations efforts in recent months. Earlier this month, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell traveled the country to raise public awareness of the fund, and today, the LWCF Coalition released a report asking Congress to move the LWCF budget into mandatory funding, ensuring that it would be funded at $900 million every year and would be free from the cuts in the annual discretionary budget.

    Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) also pledged her "full support and cooperation" in fully funding LWCF.

    "I hope to be part of establishing, for the first time in the nation's history, a real trust fund for land and water conservation," she said, citing the need for full, consistent funding "so that we can plan and carry out our activities."
    The idea has some bipartisan support. But the chances of success this Congress are low, with lawmakers soon heading for August recess and expecting a lame-duck session after the November elections.

    At today's press conference -- which featured custom M&M's for the fund's 50th anniversary, along with a cake -- DeFazio admitted as much.

    "I think there is a way forward," he said. "It may be a lame-duck miracle, or maybe we'll have to slug it out during the next Congress."

    The LWCF Coalition -- which includes landowners, sportsmen, ranchers and conservation groups -- sees the fund's reauthorization as an opportunity. It is set to expire permanently in September 2015 unless Congress reauthorizes it.
    "When we reauthorize the program, we must also fix it and fully fund it," Jay Leutze, a trustee for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, said today.

  • 02 Aug 2014 1:12 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    DENVER — A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 10,103,266 visitors to Arizona’s national parks in 2013 spent $773.9 million and supported 11,783 jobs in the state.  Read Full Article...
  • 29 Jul 2014 8:27 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    The Open Trails System Specification helps park and recreation agencies do more with trail data. This “open data” initiative aims to standardize trail data and make it available for web development opportunities such as the creation of dynamic maps, apps and more — even helping your agency create these types of tools too! Code for America is hosting a free online course to help park and recreation agencies get on board. The course will go step by step through the process of creating and maintaining open data for your trail system and will help you produce the data, establish a clear internal process and find the right OpenTrails apps or tools for your needs. The course will begin on August 6.

    Click here to read a feature article about open trails data in Outside Magazine.

    Click here to sign up for the Code for America course.

  • 29 Jul 2014 8:25 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Capitol Hill has changed. Long gone are the predicable, annual schedules and seasons for policymakers to operate under. As changes like these and others take hold on the Hill, it is imperative that we change too and stay relevant in today’s environment. We’ve got an exciting new proposition to advocacy that applies the latest best practices for a more strategic approach. We’ll be focusing on more customized and specific “fly-ins” as well complementary efforts focused on public policy at the local level.

    Click here to read more about the advocacy changes from NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs Kevin O'Hara

  • 24 Jul 2014 2:49 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Having greener meetings means having a sustainable business, one that can withstand the test of time. In this kit you will learn the key components of greener meetings, best practices, ideas to implementation, and more! Download your free copy here.

  • 21 Jul 2014 6:04 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    As tuition prices rise and the job market remains volatile, many folks are asking whether college or grad school is worth the investment. For folks eyeing the park and recreation industry, that question can be particularly fraught as young professionals consider their career track – administration, programming, coaching, etc. – and whether those goals can be achieved by working one’s way up the ranks or cobbling together a combination of work experience and educational achievements outside the industry. Meanwhile, on the other side of the lectern, educators are trying to prove their mettle as stewards of park and recreation history and conduits of invaluable experiential knowledge. “Learning Curve,” July’s Parks & RecreationMagazine cover feature, explores the state of education in our field, taking a close look at the relationship between today’s students, educators and practitioners and what it takes for each to succeed and stay relevant.

    Click here to read “Learning Curve,” by Samantha Bartram.

  • 21 Jul 2014 6:02 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    The CDC just released the State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014. This report reveals that more safe and convenient places are needed for Americans to be physically active in their communities. The report specifically calls for increasing access to parks and recreation facilities as a critical environmental support to encourage increased physical activity. According to the report, less than 38 percent of the U.S. population lives within a half mile of a park and just over half (54 percent) of youth have parks or playground areas; recreation centers, community centers, boys’ or girls’ clubs; and sidewalks or walking paths available in their neighborhoods. Yet, those with access to neighborhood infrastructures that support physical activity are more active. Use this report to be proactive in working with your state health department to continue efforts to improve access and establish policies that make it easier to be physically active in your community.

    Click here to read the State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014.
  • 17 Jul 2014 11:04 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)


    If you're looking for a creative way to fund your next project, consider applying for a spot on NRPA's new crowdfunding site. Fund Your Park is a crowdfunding platform designed exclusively for park and recreation agencies that can bolster community support and funds. NRPA is looking for 5 to 10 projects to profile for crowdfunding on the platform during the initial crowdfunding period. Applications are due by July 25. Learn more.

  • 14 Jul 2014 2:30 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    If you’ve just entered into a new fiscal year, now’s a great time to gather up your previous year's data and update or start your PRORAGIS profile. Once you do, you can create powerful reports to answer questions, address pressing issues and more effectively manage assets. Educate, advocate and plan with PRORAGIS.

    Click here for more information on PRORAGIS.

  • 14 Jul 2014 2:28 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Parks have power undefined economic, health, environmental power and more. Fact is, we believe, parks are the most powerful aspect of every community. This is the main message in the new “Power of Parks” Prezi developed to articulate the benefits you bring to a community. Check it out and share it with your community.

    Click here to watch the “Power of Parks” Prezi.

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