Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Community Parks Revitalization Act Introduced in Senate
studies conducted in recent years have shown that proximity to parks or open green spaces plays an important role in improving health and decreasing obesity rates, and a U.S. Senate bill introduced last week aims to increase opportunities for the nearly 80 percent of the population living in urban areas to access such resources. The Community Parks Revitalization Act, introduced by Senators Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would create a competitive grant program for parks and recreation departments in urban areas, providing them with funding to create new green spaces and revitalize existing spaces and facilities.
“Parks and recreation are absolutely essential for the economic and environmental vitality as well as physical wellness of urban communities throughout this country,” said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association, which has been and continues to be instrumental in shaping and advancing the bill. “The CPR Act is a critical piece of legislation that recognizes this and we commend Sens. Hagan, Kerry and Gillibrand on their efforts to introduce the bill.”
The Senate bill is a companion to a House bill introduced last year, though it differs in its emphasis on “innovation and recreation program grants” aimed at increasing opportunities for at-risk youth and military veterans and families. The CPR Act still needs to be passed by both the Senate and the House.