The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) of 2020 promised the investment in national parks that the United States desperately needed. Since 1980, the number of visitors to national parks has increased by 50%, yet land management agencies previously did not receive increased funding to support this influx of visitors. This funding is essential for federal agencies to enhance existing recreation programs that increase equitable access to green space. For example, the National Parks Service funds the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program, which funds outdoor recreation projects in “park deserts” or disadvantaged urban communities lacking recreation space within walking distance. Through the NJDEP Green Acres Program, New Jersey has used these funding opportunities to advance the policy priorities outlined in its State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which aims to increase close-to-home recreation opportunities to enhance the quality of life for residents statewide.
Read more about the Task Force recommendations in the latest blog written by Public Policy student Josephine O’Grady