• 18 Sep 2014 7:58 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    The aim of the speaker series is to provide a forum where land managers, scientists, educators, policy makers, planners, community members, and conservation professionals can share expertise, learn, network, and collaborate. Upcoming 2014-15 dates can be found on the APRA events calendar.

  • 15 Sep 2014 9:39 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    Check out the nine projects launched by NRPA members this week. Support your colleagues and share a project that’s close to you or just one that’s close to your heart. We’ll be calling for another round of applications for projects to be featured on the platform later this month

  • 15 Sep 2014 9:35 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    Released on Tuesday, experts from 20 organizations have collaborated on the development of the guidelines for planning, designing and managing nature play spaces. Check out this recent blog post to get the inside scoop on what these guidelines mean for you and your agency.

  • 15 Sep 2014 9:33 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    Thanks to the American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), these areas will connect children and adults to nature and promote water stewardship through parks and public spaces. In the coming months, we’ll be opening up applications for the next round of similar project grants so stay tuned.

  • 04 Sep 2014 12:28 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    Wednesday is the 50th birthday of two of the nation’s most important environmental statutes: the Wilderness Act and the law establishing the Land and Water Conservation Fund. For those with long memories, it also commemorates a time when Congress could act productively in a bipartisan spirit that yielded not only these two laws but, within a few short years, landmark protections for clean air, clean water and endangered species. Read full article...

  • 28 Aug 2014 9:49 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board will discuss the potential fees at a meeting on Thursday. They're looking at three parking areas undefined Echo Canyon trailhead on Camelback Mountain, Pima Canyon in South Mountain Park, and Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area's Piestewa Peak Summit Trail.

    The idea isn't new: The city considered charging for parking at the parks in 2010, but the City Council tabled the idea. Read full article...

  • 25 Aug 2014 11:33 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Agencies that have signed up for 10 Million Kids get some pretty cool things like a monthly newsletter with resources, funding announcements and ideas for their conservation programs. They are also able to quantify exactly how many kids they engaged in environmental programming throughout the year which can really help show the impact they make in their communities. Most importantly, though, agencies signed up for 10 Million Kids Outdoors are part of a national movement to get kids outside, inspired and engaged in environmental stewardship.

    Click here to learn more about 10 Million Kids Outdoors, see who’s signed up and to register your own agency.

  • 25 Aug 2014 11:29 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Recently, National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast a series of reports on play to explore why people play and how play relates to learning. Part of the series examined the science behind play’s ability to build brain power, especially among children. While listening to the story, NRPA’s Jessica Culverhouse couldn’t help but connect this notion to local parks – they are after all the ideal setting for play. She outlines a few good reasons why playing in a park is good for kids’ brains on Open Space. 

    Check it out and add your reasons in the comments.

    Click here to read “Let Them Play in the Park,” on Open Space. 

  • 21 Aug 2014 11:19 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    Arizona's state parks need a champion. The Legislature won't help, so a group of Arizonans is donning the superhero's cape.

    A coalition of environmental groups led by the Arizona Heritage Alliance and the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association is launching an initiative for 2016 called the Arizona Natural Resources Protection Act.

    Read full article...

  • 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.

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