February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 7

P er s pecti v e s
A Message from NRPA's Leaders

The Time Is Now...

I

certainly don't have to tell you that park and recreation agencies are fac-

ing a crisis of unparalleled proportions as state and local budgets continue to
crash. You are living it everyday-trying to maintain service with less staff
and less funds. What's ironic and also tragic is that you are considered the lucky
ones. Some agencies have had to close their doors, leaving many of our professionals unemployed. No doubt about it-this period marks some of the greatest
cuts to parks and recreation in a generation.

So what can we, NRPA, do? Well, for starters,
we are already doing many things to help garner
support for parks and recreation: 1) Providing research that demonstrates that P&R are essential
service providers, 2) Launching a communications
strategy to remind elected officials and the general
public the importance of what we do, and 3) Meeting with the Department of Interior, the Administration and members of the Hill on new legislation for
increased funding.
But all these efforts pale in comparison to the
power of NRPA's National Legislative Forum. This
is our most important meeting to advance the movement-to accomplish our mission and to realize our
vision. But we can't do it without you. Yes, costs
and time are associated with attending the Legislative Forum; but imagine if every member made
that commitment. Congress and the Administration
would have no other option than to acknowledge
our collective voice.
This year's Legislative Forum comes at a critical
time as we are on the brink of success in advancing
critical legislation that could provide significant federal funding and technical resources to parks and

recreation agencies nationwide. The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC), if
passed, will bring hundreds of millions of dollars
in new funding for urban parks. And, yes, there
is new momentum in Congress and support from
the Administration to guarantee full and dedicated
funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
(LWCF).
And finally, there are bills that would provide
funding for jobs creation by local government agencies, including parks and recreation; legislation that
would fund youth employment; provide funding and
technical resources for sustainable practices and
energy efficiency; and transportation funding for
pedestrian and bike trails and other transportation
enhancements. But none of this will matter if you
don't participate.
Imagine what it would be like if you didn't have
to beg and borrow to scrape together financial support for your favorite park or for your agency. The
time is right but only if we step up and seize it. It's
not business as usual but it will be if we treated it as
just another year. It's up to you. The ball is in our
court. 


Barbara Tulipane, CAE
Chief Executive Officer

	

www.NRPA .ORG

February 2010

Parks & Recreation	

5



February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2010
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