ASHBURN, Va., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) commends Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), along with Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) and 10 other original co-sponsors, for the reintroduction of the Community Parks Revitalization (CPR) Act. This legislation will help revitalize urban areas making them healthier, more livable, and economically competitive through improved access to public parks and recreation programs and services.
The reintroduction of the bill, previously titled the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act, demonstrates the strong support and recognition of the vital role public parks, green space, and recreation opportunities play in growing the economy, improving health outcomes, and advancing conservation initiatives at the local level.
The CPR Act builds upon the success of the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR) and would provide matching federal grants to parks and recreation departments in metropolitan areas for the construction of new indoor and outdoor recreational resources and the refurbishment of existing facilities. The legislation also now includes an innovative financing mechanism that would establish a program for secured loans and loan guarantees for the development of parks and recreation infrastructure of a larger scale.
"Considering that more than 80 percent of the U.S. population now lives in urban areas, it is critical that our nation's leaders recognize the importance of quality of life in the communities where most American live," says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. "The CPR Act emphasizes the vital role local parks and recreation plays in shaping and improving the economic vitality, environmental and physical wellness of urban communities in the country."
Numerous studies have shown that access to parks, recreation, and green space can help revitalize declining communities by attracting businesses, improving property values, and increasing access to health and wellness opportunities.
The National Recreation and Park Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) worked closely advocating for the reintroduction of the legislation.
"ASLA supports legislation that will assist with the rehabilitation and construction of urban parks and recreational facilities across the country," says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO. "Parks provide significant economic, social and environmental benefits to everyone in the community. Parks are not just pretty places, but critical to the fabric of our daily lives."
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 30,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
SOURCE National Recreation and Park Association