The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed by Congress, sent over $5 billion to Massachusetts for COVID-19 relief. ARPA presents once-in-a-generation funding to invest in outdoor recreation and climate resiliency.
Visitation to parks, trails, beaches, farms, and gardens more than doubled during the pandemic, and that trend continues. This is a rare opportunity to create and improve special places and support communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Outdoor recreation supports the work force and is a significant driver of the state’s economy, adding $10.5 billion to the state’s GDP and $5.5 billion in wages and salaries annually.
Green infrastructure, like wetlands and forests, naturally absorb floods and cool neighborhoods, helping cities and towns to become more resilient to climate impacts.
Please ask your state legislators to:
- Invest ARPA funds to acquire land and create and improve parks, trails, beaches, farms, gardens, and other outdoor recreation opportunities, especially in communities disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.
- Protect and restore green infrastructure, like wetlands and forests, to absorb carbon pollution and help Massachusetts communities become more resilient to climate change impacts.
- Create a new state Office of Outdoor Recreation to support, promote, and market outdoor recreational activities available throughout the state, as 15 other states have done.
Please email or call your state representative and state senator to urge them to invest in nature, green infrastructure, and the outdoors. This is an unprecedented opportunity to make the recreation economy a part of our post-pandemic recovery plan, and help communities prepare for climate impacts.