Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) introduced S. 3583 the Community Parks Revitalization Act, which would provide opportunities for communities to build new and rehabilitate existing parks and outdoor recreational spaces.
“This legislation will not only provide for the rehabilitation of neglected recreation facilities and green spaces in our city centers, but it will also promote job creation and opportunities for safe and healthy activities in urban public sites,” Hagan said. “Investment in parks and recreation attracts business, promotes conservation in a non-regulatory fashion and enhances quality of life for hard-working North Carolinians and their families.”
The Community Parks Revitalization Act (CPRA) would authorize matching federal grants to create new and rehabilitate existing parks and recreation infrastructure in communities across the country. This measure will help revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, enhance local and state economies, protect the health and well-being of our citizens, and contribute to a higher quality of life for hard-working Americans and their families.
As our nation works to find solutions for growing our economy and creating jobs, we must continuously examine additional ways to help sustain long-term economic growth and put Americans back to work. Grants provided through the Community Parks Revitalization Act would provide such a solution. Research demonstrates that investments in parks and recreation projects positively affect our economy through the creation of jobs. For instance, the Political Economy and Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts estimates that 20 jobs are created for every $1 million invested in park projects, a higher rate than many other sectors. Additionally, the Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreational activities annually yield about $646 billion in spending, and supports 6.1 million jobs.
Parks and recreational spaces also attract businesses to communities, and help increase commercial and residential property values. Supporting public parks and recreation infrastructure is a smart, efficient way to leverage limited resources and provide for economic development in communities throughout the nation.
The Community Parks Revitalization Act will not only provide jobs and help grow our local economies, it would also help improve the health of our nation. Chronic obesity has rapidly increased as Americans have become more sedentary. Providing community parks and other recreation spaces encourage active living. Studies have found that creating parks and recreational trails near where people live can lead to a 48% increase in physical activity.
S. 3583 bill is a companion to H.R. 709, the Urban Revitialization and Livable Communities Act introduced in 2011 in the U.S. House of Representative by Rep. Albio Sires, (NJ). As a member of the Urban Parks Coalition, ASLA has worked with Senator Hagan, and Rep. Sires to promote these important bills that allow landscape architects to help create the parks and public spaces that stimulate economic development and provide valuable recreation spaces in their communities.
Take a moment and urge your Senators to join Sen. Hagan as a co-sponsor of this legislation.