Outdoors for All Act would fund green space for millions
Congress has a chance to help more people gain access to parks and nature by passing the Outdoors for All Act. The bill would expand the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP), which builds new parks and revitalizes existing ones for underserved urban communities. If passed, the bipartisan Outdoors for All Act will permanently fund this program and extend its benefits to nearly 24 million more people and 75% more cities.
Pull the slider across the map to see how park funding opportunities would expand under Outdoors for All. The blue points show communities that are currently eligible for funding and the yellow points show the additional communities that will be eligible for funding with the passage of Outdoors for All. The green color scale illustrates expanded eligibility by congressional district, with darker green districts having the most to gain by the passage of Outdoors for All. Additionally, in the upper right hand corner of the map, you can click on the magnifying glass symbol to explore specific states and the layer symbol to add or remove map features.
Millions across U.S. lack a park close to home
We all need a place to get outside. But nationwide, 100 million people – including 28 million children – do not have a park within a half-mile of home. In urban areas, where many people do not own a car or lack access to reliable public transportation, nearby public parks often provide the only opportunity to get out into nature.
Communities that lack parks are not only missing out on the mental and physical health benefits of exercise and relaxation with family and friends, but also lack key buffers against the impacts of climate change and other environmental threats. Parks can help reduce flooding, absorb air pollution and filter stormwater to keep rivers and lakes cleaner. Green, shady outdoor spaces also protect people from rising temperatures and can reduce deadly "urban heat islands."
Everyone should have access to the countless benefits that parks and green space provide. Passing the Outdoors for All Act would be a great step toward achieving this goal and ensuring outdoor equity for all.