Magazine article Parks & Recreation

February's Legislative Forum: Now More Than Ever

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

February's Legislative Forum: Now More Than Ever

Article excerpt

NRPA's 2004 Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation, to be held Feb. 25-28, takes on a greater significance for advocates of parks and recreation as the second session of the 108th Congress reconvenes early in 2004. Many important policy and funding issues that are vital to parks and recreation were considered in the first session of the loath Congress, and while there were sonic significant and important victories, not all outcomes were favorable to NRPA's interests.

On the plus side, the stunning reversal of the plan to strip funding and eligibility for the Fiscal Year 2004. Transportation Enhancements program stands as the greatest victory. Park and recreation advocates, joined by an extraordinary coalition of trail advocates, health and wellness organizations, and national associations of every type, turned Congress around from a wrong-headed plan to divert Transportation Enhancement funds from biking, biking and rail-trail projects to till highway construction.

However, despite long-standing support for urban park rehabilitation, the Urban Park and Recreation Rehabilitation program went unfunded for the third year in a row when Congress refused to appropriate any funds for it. This 25-year program of the National Park Service has funded more than 1,000 restoration and planning grants for the rehabilitation of urban parks in hundreds of cities and urban counties. …

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