The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grants are available to create new parks and trails, or substantially renovate existing parks, in 26 cities.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz recently announced that $61.1 million in grant funding is now available to communities in 26 cities across the U.S. through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program. The ORLP program, established in 2014, enables urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically under-served communities. Secretary Haaland announced the selected cities invited to submit final applications for their proposals (listed below) during her visit.
Secretary Haaland stated, “Funding from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership will continue to expand our communities’ connections to urban green spaces, where children can play, families can connect, and a love and appreciation for the outdoors can be nurtured.”
During her visit, Secretary Haaland joined Minnesota leaders to see firsthand the enhancements and opportunities of ORLP grants when she visited the recently completed Midway Peace Park in St. Paul, which received ORLP funding in 2020. Secretary Haaland also visited Willard Park in Minneapolis, which stands to receive a $1.3 million grant to expand and renovate park amenities.
At Midway Peace Park, Secretary Haaland highlighted how these efforts advance the Department of the Interior’s America the Beautiful initiative. The initiative’s goals include: advancing equity, biodiversity, and climate change through collaborative and locally led conservation. She also highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge, which is being funded partly through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It will leverage federal conservation and restoration investments with private and philanthropic contributions to accelerate land, water, and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.
“So much of the work of the National Park Service takes place in local communities through programs like the ORLP,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “Now in its eighth year, the program leverages federal funds to provide economically disadvantaged communities with the means to create and improve parks, trails, and recreation opportunities. We look forward to providing more grant opportunities like this to states across the country.”
Priority is given to projects that are targeted to meet the needs of under-served communities; provide opportunities for employment or job training; involve and expand public-private partnerships; and rely on a high degree of coordination among all levels of government, to expand and improve recreation opportunities for all.
To read about other advances in urban spaces click here.