Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Fund Urban Parks Projects

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that would create a dedicated source of funding for projects that expand outdoor recreational opportunities in urban and low-income communities in Oregon and nationwide. 

“Appreciation of the outdoors is in Oregon’s DNA, and we must make sure green spaces and local parks are accessible to everyone,” Wyden said. “Cementing the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program into federal law ensures that incredible urban parks in my hometown of Portland and throughout Oregon have the funding they need to ensure quality of life and community recreation for everyone no matter their zip code.”

The Outdoors for All Act establishes the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program in federal law and guarantees funding for the program. The ORLP program supports urban parks in underserved communities across the country.

The ORLP program is vital for low-income communities and communities of color that lack equal access to local parks. For example, the organizers of Cully Park have put ORLP funds to good use covering a former landfill with a 25-acre park. Low-income communities of color in the Cully neighborhood of northeast Portland have limited outdoor recreation opportunities compared to other areas of Portland. The grant in 2015 provided resources to restore natural habitats and supported development of an accessible playground, walking trail with exercise equipment, scenic overlooks, off leash dog area, inter-tribal Gathering Garden, and a youth soccer field.

This bipartisan bill is being led by U.S. Senators Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. The companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif., and Congressman Mike Turner, R-Ohio. Along with Wyden, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Cory Booker, D-N.J., John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Angus King, I-Maine, Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The Outdoors for All Act has been endorsed by the following organizations: American Forests, Corazón Latino, American Hiking Society, Landforce, Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Outreach, San Diego Mountain Biking Association, America Forests, The Venture Out Project, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Pacoima Beautiful, GreenLatinos, Hispanic Access Foundation, The American Alpine Club, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, California Outdoor Recreation Partnership, Youth Transportation Organization (Yoots), Fairmount Park Conservancy, Pashek+MTR, Ltd., David Brower Center, Nature for All, National Recreation and Park Association, GirlVentures, Kokatat, Inc., Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Portland Parks Conservancy, Outdoor Afro, Natural Areas Conservancy, National League of Cities, Outdoor Alliance, Sierra Club, YMCA of the USA, City Parks Alliance, KABOOM!, Outdoor Alliance, REI Co-op, East Coast Greenway Alliance , League of Conservation Voters, LWCF Coalition, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, LWCF Coalition, The National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers, (NASORLO), Seattle Parks Foundation, Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Wilderness Society, Justice Outside, Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association, REI Co-op, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) American Heart Association, National Wildlife Federation, and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids.

Quotes from some of the organizations supporting the Outdoors for All Act are HERE.