Parks bind us together. They get us outside…get us moving. They create community. They serve all races, all ages and all abilities. They are sacred; they are special.
Ashburn, Va. (Vocus/PRWEB) March 21, 2011
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) honored two members of Congress for their significant contributions to parks and recreation during a Congressional Recognition Ceremony and Reception at the United States Capitol on March 17, 2011.
Reps. Albio Sires of the 13th District of New Jersey and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming accepted their awards in person, and spoke of the importance of ensuring parks and recreational opportunities for American communities.
“When I look back on my life on the things that were important…I realize that’s where I made my friends, that’s what got me through college, that’s where I relaxed, that’s where I spent a lot of my time,” said Sires, speaking of his time spent in parks as a youth.
A national leader for urban revitalization, Sires recently re-introduced the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act he originally introduced in 2009. This legislation would provide up to $445 million annually to help rehabilitate and develop urban parks and recreation facilities, and support youth-at-risk programs.
“Congressman Sires has given a voice to urban parks in Congress,” said Janna Rankin, Chair of NRPA’s Board of Directors. “His commitment to urban parks is evident from his unwavering efforts in the Congressional Urban Caucus.” Rankin also noted that Sires introduced a resolution designating July as national Park and Recreation Month.
Lummis was recognized for her history of working on natural resource issues, dating back to her fourteen years in the Wyoming House and Senate, and her time with the Wyoming Governor’s office.
“Congresswoman Lummis understands the critical importance of parks and recreation for states and local communities,” said Rankin. In 2010, Lummis co-sponsored an amendment to the CLEAR Act—which sought to allocate 40 percent of total Land and Water Conservation Fund funding to the State Assistance program.
Also in attendance was civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia’s 5th District. Lewis spoke about NRPA’s Parks Build Community project in Atlanta, Ga., which will be unveiled at the 2011 NRPA Congress & Exposition in November. The initiative involves more than a quarter of a million dollars of equipment and services contributed by NRPA partners and suppliers, including PlayCore and Superior International Industries, to rebuild Selena Butler Park—located in a historic district near the birthplace of Martin Luther King.
“When the historians pick up their pens and write about this period, they’ll say that a committed and dedicated people did what they could to save, to preserve, this little piece of real estate. Not just for our generation—but for a generation yet unborn,” said Lewis.
He continued, “Parks bind us together. They get us outside…get us moving. They create community. They serve all races, all ages and all abilities. They are sacred; they are special.”
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit http://www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit http://www.parksandrec-magazine.org.
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