It is clear that 2016 was the year of the park. The nation’s treasured spaces celebrated their centennial, raising awareness about the need to preserve our public spaces and expand opportunities to access for all Americans. In California, cities across the state voted to invest in expanding the amount of green space in their communities. We hope that the momentum continues in 2017 and that parks and public lands continue to have the assistance of the future President.
The Obama administration was an example of the value of possessing park champions at the highest levels of government. President Obama protected much more land and water than any other president. His Every single Kid in a Park initiative gave every fourth grader, and their households, free access to national parks and all public lands, which preserve America’s most stunning and historic areas. Obama expanded monuments that celebrate the country’s historical diversity, such as Harriet Tubman National Monument, César E. Chavez National Monument, and Stonewall National Monument, to harness the energy that parks and preservation have in producing history come alive.
Little ones getting their Junior Ranger Badge at Muir Woods National Monument as component of a joint program with CA State Parks Summer in Finding out Plan with leadership from Latino Outdoors Regional Coordinator Alicia Cruz.
California has led the charge, also, to defend our public lands and treasured green spaces. State parks are usually a model for the rest of the nation, and California is stepping up to the challenge of meeting the needs of an increasingly urban, diverse population. A two-year transformation approach is wrapping up, paving the way for reforms that will supply programming and diverse staffing to make certain that state park guests reflect the Golden state’s demographics by 2025.
Californians also showed a willingness to help funding for parks in areas like Los Angeles and Berkeley. In the case of Los Angeles County, an assessment of park needs commits the area to investing in lowering historical park disparities that have resulted in low-earnings communities getting less than their share of green space. Offered the significance that parks play in the wellness and wellbeing of our communities, I helped to launch Parks Now, a coalition of diverse park champions have come together to make certain that park reforms don’t get lost among other concerns. We are pushing for equity in access, guided by the function I do by means of my personal organization, Latino Outdoors, where we lead efforts to reconnect people of all backgrounds to our open spaces and to prove that we all have a place in the outdoors.
But there is nonetheless a lot of perform to be carried out, and parks will constantly need to have a champion in Washington D.C.
We urge the president-elect and his administration to continue the function achieved so far and to aim even larger in honor of our future generations and their proper to public lands. Federal lands make up roughly 27 % of the land location of the U.S., and they belong to every single and every single one of us. Public lands protect wild landscapes and all-natural and cultural resources, and invigorate us with their beauty, crisp air, and majestic views. Parks are a birthright of all Americans, which signifies we all deserve access to green space and we all have the duty to be stewards of our public lands.
We hope that the incoming administration embraces everyone’s appropriate to green space and upholds the principle that public lands belong to absolutely everyone. We count on the Trump administration to:
- Be a vocal supporter of parks. Make certain that we continue to preserve our public lands for future generations.
- Continue to encourage higher access to our outdoors. Support initiatives like Each Kid in a Park and policies to expand access to parks for park-poor communities.
- Advocate for diverse parks leaders. Park employees need to reflect our population in order to cater to the demands to our complete communities. Absolutely everyone deserves to really feel welcome when they check out a park and to be in a position to take ownership of our breathtaking landscapes.
Improving our parks will benefit all our generations to come. Now is the time to be a champion for parks and hold the flame alive. Now is the time to safeguard the future of our public lands, far more than ever.