The Community Parks Revitalization Act will provide matching federal grants for much needed parks and recreation infrastructure. Specifically, the bill would authorize the Department of Housing and Urban Development to:
- Create a federal program that provides localities with competitive loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit for construction or the capital costs of large scale parks and recreation projects.
- Administer grants to assist localities in rebuilding, remodeling, expanding, or developing existing or new recreational areas and facilities.
- Provide matching grants for innovative programming, with an emphasis on at-risk youth, returning veterans, and military families. By providing grants and innovative financing for local parks and recreation, Congress has the opportunity to spur economic growth and abate the public health crisis at the local community level.
Current Status and Legislative History
The Community Parks Revitalization Act was introduced on January 7, 2015 and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
S. 3583, the Community Parks Revitalization Act, was introduced on September 20, 2012 by Senator Kay Hagan (NC) and H.R.709, the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act was introduced by Congressman Albio Sires (NJ) on February 15, 2011. This legislation was largely modeled on the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) program. UPARR was established to provide assistance to states and local communities to rehabilitate existing urban parks. Though very successful, UPARR ended in 2002 when the final grants were released. S. 3583, the Community Park Revitalization Act, and H.R. 709, the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act would build upon the success of UPARR by improving the program to allow more communities to benefit and allow the development of new parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
Details and Resources
- H.R. 201 the Community Parks Revitalization Act
- Urban Park Summit White Paper
- NRPA Report: Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health
- NRPA Report: Active Transportation and Parks and Recreation
- "Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System", Peter Harnik, Trust for Public Land
- TPL Report: 2015 City Park Facts
- ASCE Infrastructure Report: Parks and Recreation
- Parks and Trails Health Impact Assessment Toolkit