Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parks have been essential for residents to safely enjoy outdoor recreation. Now legislators are looking for ways to renovate parks across the country.
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) reintroduced the Community Parks Revitalization Act on Sept. 14.
Sires represents the 8th Congressional District, which encompasses most of Hudson County. The proposed legislation aims to provide federal support for parks across the country through matching grant programs and secured loans.
Preserving and rehabilitating parks
“In New Jersey’s 8th District, our parks and green spaces are extremely valuable for the residents of our urban communities,” Sires said. “As we continue to cope with COVID-19, parks, like Liberty State Park in Jersey City, provide an important escape where residents can stay active, relieve stress, and get some fresh air, all of which are important for mental and physical health.”
Sires continued: “These parks also play a key role in creating vibrant, livable communities where people want to reside. In order to preserve and rehabilitate these free public resources for Americans living in urban and metropolitan areas, we must provide communities with the tools and resources needed.”
This legislation would provide three types of federal grants and technical assistance programs which must be matched with local funds.
Rehabilitation and construction grants would aid local governments in rebuilding and expanding new and existing parks and recreational facilities.
Innovation grants would address personnel, facility, equipment, and supply needs for parks and recreation facilities. The innovation grant would provide funds for new or existing programs that provide opportunities for returning veterans and active duty military and their families, or programs that provide constructive alternatives for at-risk youth.
Last, 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.
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