THE DAILY SENTINEL: Amid Shutdown Drama, We Cannot Forget about LWCF

By: Christina Gonzalez

Nowadays, video games or social media are some of the main ways kids entertain themselves. As a mother of three girls, I’ve made it a priority for them to stay active.

Last year, my daughters and I were featured in the Hispanic Access Foundation film “Land, Water y Comunidad,” which highlighted several parks from around the country that have been recipients of funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Art Dague Pool and Waterslide in Rifle was one of those places.

You can see my daughter jumping off the diving board, going down the slide, and her and I playing in the pool together. This pool has been an important part of her childhood and in helping her develop a healthy, active lifestyle. 

But the future of places like Art Dague is now jeopardized as Congress allowed LWCF to expire at the end of September.

The program has funded more than 970 parks and projects in Colorado providing approximately $268 million that has benefited places from federal sites like Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado National Monument and Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area to various state and community parks throughout the Western Slope. All of this has been done at no cost to taxpayers. LWCF is funded through a small portion of offshore oil and gas drilling royalties.

LWCF helps maintain and improve infrastructure for places like Orchard Avenue Park, Columbine Park, and Berry Park, where families can recreate or get together. LWCF has funded more than 42,000 sites and projects touching nearly every county in the country.

Sens. Gardner and Bennet, as well as Rep. Tipton have signed on as co-sponsors to save LWCF. But, we need their leadership now to help Congress finish the job and permanently reauthorize and fully fund LWCF.

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