The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has long advocated for permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). For more than 50 years, LWCF has protected lands in every state and congressional district in the nation, and provided funds for more than 41,000 state and local park projects. And on March 12, the president signed a permanent authorization of LWCF into law.
“From Black Rock Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, to North Tangipahoa Parish Park in Louisiana, to Crescent Harbor Playground in Alaska, LWCF gives landscape architects the ability to plan and design parks and recreational facilities that are resilient, beneficial, and beautiful outdoor spaces,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects. “The permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is an incredible victory for ASLA, our members, and our partners. This critical program will help lead our nation to a healthier, more sustainable future that is accessible for all.”
LWCF is one of the only federal programs that provides dedicated funds for local and community parks and recreational facilities. This gives communities access to green spaces while promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. The permanent authorization of LWCF ensures landscape architects and other design and planning professionals have the funds needed to complete safe and accessible community plans.
The LWCF provision is part of a bipartisan comprehensive public lands bill renamed the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, which will protect millions of acres of public lands, provide countless recreation opportunities for the nation, while also creating tourism and economic development benefits.
In addition to authorizing LWCF, the law includes another ASLA priority — the Every Kid in a Park program. Every Kid in a Park introduces our youth to the beauty and benefits of the natural world by giving fourth graders and their families passes to our national parks and public lands.