The Voice for Parks and Recreation in Our Nation's Capital: NRPA's 2014 Legislative Platform Provides Guidance for Members Advocating at Legislative Forum and Elsewhere throughout the Year

By Tyahla, David | Parks & Recreation, March 2014 | Go to article overview

The Voice for Parks and Recreation in Our Nation's Capital: NRPA's 2014 Legislative Platform Provides Guidance for Members Advocating at Legislative Forum and Elsewhere throughout the Year


Tyahla, David, Parks & Recreation


March is typically when we get back outdoors and enjoy everything that our local public spaces have to offer. It also reminds us of the important role that close-to-home parks and recreation facilities play in our communities.

March also brings with it the opportunity to highlight the great work you do with your elected officials.

This year's Legislative Forum begins March 25, and we thank those of you who will be joining us in Washington, D.C., where your advocacy makes such a difference. You'll receive all the training and information you need to have successful meetings, which should help you become a valuable resource to your representatives and senators. Successful advocacy is an ongoing process that is done throughout the year, so our hope is that what you learn in preparation of your day on Capitol Hill will serve you and your community long after you leave D.C.

What follows is NRPA's Legislative Platform--our public policy agenda in the areas of conservation, health and wellness, and social equity for 2014.

Conservation

Land and Water Conservation Fluid (LWCF) State Assistance Program: In addition to supporting full and dedicated funding for LWCF (H.R. 2727), bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) would require that a minimum of 40 percent of annual LWCF appropriations would be allocated to the State Assistance Program.

No Child Left Inside (S. 1306/H.R. 2702): Introduced by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Paul Sarbanes (DMD), this legislation would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). It would strengthen and expand environmental education in classrooms by providing funds to encourage partnerships between school districts and parks as well as other community-based organizations.

Healthy Kids Outdoors Act (HKOA): This legislation is expected to be reintroduced in 2014. It provides funding to states for the development of comprehensive state strategies related to expanding environmental education through the school system and finding other means of getting kids and families more physically active in the outdoors.

Health and Wellness

Health and Human Services Appropriations: NRPA supports funding for prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control that create substantial and sustainable community-level programs that prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases through active living, healthy eating, tobacco-free living, and clinical and community preventive services. These grant programs support state and local government entities such as park and recreation agencies.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Reauthorization: Did you know that park and recreation agencies are the largest provider of healthy meals and snacks to children outside of schools? The Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provide free meals to low-income children while school is out of session and will be up for renewal in FY 2015.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act (S. …

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