The Indiana Parks Alliance supports re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This important legislation, first passed by the U.S. Congress in 1965, provides funding for the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation sites and facilities in Indiana and across the country. It will expire at the end of September, 2015 unless reauthorized.
Since the program began, Indiana has received approximately $75 million in funding for both Department of Natural Resources and local city and county park projects. Over $36 million has been provided to local agencies through the program. More than 30,000 acres of land have been acquired in Indiana for public outdoor recreation use and conservation with LWCF assistance. LWCF grants provide 50% of the cost of projects.
In recent years funding for LWCF as a whole and the share of that funding dedicated to state and local parks has declined. Now it may disappear altogether.
The Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) encourages Indiana’s U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives and all Hoosiers to support bills in the U.S. Congress that would permanently authorize this program and restore the original funding level of $900 million annually. IPA believes this is an important program for Indiana.
More information about the LWCF in Indiana is available at in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4071.htm. Reauthorization details are available at lwcfcoalition.org and nrpa.org/uploadedFiles/nrpa.org/Advocacy/Resources/LWCF%20One%20Pager.pdf. Hoosiers can locate contact information for their U.S. legislators at house.gov/representatives/find/ and senate.gov/senators/contact/.
The Indiana Parks Alliance, formed in 2014, is a charitable organization that supports Indiana State Parks and Nature Preserves through advocacy, education, research, promotion, fundraising and assistance for local friends groups. Support for IPA comes from memberships and donations. Donations are tax-deductible, and memberships can include state park annual passes and other gifts. Founder’s Circle memberships are available through July 1, 2016, to build a strong foundation for the organization. Visit www.indianaparksalliance.org for details and membership information.