ASHBURN, VA - The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is commending Congressman Albio Sires for his reintroduction of the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (H.R. 709), a bill that would support the development and revitalization of parks, at-risk-youth programming, and local park and recreation recovery action programs in urban communities across the U.S.
NRPA played an integral role in the introduction of the act during the 111th Congress and in the reintroduction of the bill this year, including assisting in the shaping of the legislation and in securing original co-sponsors for the bill's reintroduction. During the 111th Congress, a bipartisan group of 132 Representatives co-sponsored the act, and more than 30 organizations endorsed the legislation.
The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act legislation provides four different types of federal grants and technical assistance, which must be matched with local funds. Rehabilitation grants would rebuild and expand new and existing recreation centers and facilities, while innovation grants would address equipment and supply needs for urban parks and recreation facilities. At-risk youth recreation grants would provide funds for programs that have shown success in providing alternative activities to children at risk of engaging in criminal behavior. Lastly, recovery action program grants would promote development of local park and recreation recovery action programs by involving the community and youth to develop priorities and goals.
“This legislation will create jobs, fight obesity, reduce crime, and strengthen neighborhoods by investing in urban parks and community centers,” said Congressman Sires. “I have always been a strong advocate for parks and believe that urban parks and recreation centers are instrumental in helping our nation achieve important national goals of increasing exercise, improving health and revitalizing our economy.”
“The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act is crucial to the restoration of our urban communities, which are facing multiple barriers to development,” said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA. “We commend Congressman Sires for his persistence and efforts in reintroducing this bill, which will result in our entire nation being healthier, more livable, and more economically competitive now and for generations to come.”
“In my district, parks serve as the backyard of the community and we see people of all backgrounds congregating in parks large and small,” said Sires. “This legislation will help communities create new and rehabilitate existing parks and recreation spaces to provide spaces for people of all ages to gather.”
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 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.