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04-05-21 | Legislation

Industry Associations Address Green Infrastructure in Letter to Congress

Letter Asks for $500 Million in Local Park Investment

The ASLA, NRPA, APA, and several other industry associations collaborated on writing a letter urging congressional leaders to include green infrastructure initiatives in future legislation.

Industry leading associations, APA ASLA, NRPA, and AIA, joined nine other organizations in a letter to congress, urging them incorporate green infrastructure funding in future stimulus bills. The collaborative organization began their message by illuminating the possibility of integrating measures to provide large-scale funding towards green infrastructure projects within Congress' efforts to combat the economic impact of the pandemic. They believe, through these efforts, target funding can be allocated towards low-income communities who have been affected by extreme weather.

The letter asks for legislation that improves local level land use and green infrastructure planning to "include consideration of the function of existing and new infrastructure, the balance between the built and natural environments, and populations trends in communities of all sizes, now and into the future." Additionally, the associations requests support for research and development for innovative materials, technologies, and processes related to green infrastructure and sustainability. They asked for support to pass legislation to have all infrastructure funding prioritize resiliency and nature-based solutions without increasing stormwater runoff to waterways and wetlands, siting examples of parks built in buffer zones, building rain gardens, restoring wetlands, and installing permeable roads/sidewalks.

The letter continues with specific policy and funding requests related to the upkeep and improve local parks, communities, and outdoor spaces.

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The associations asked Congress for the following funding agendas:

- $500 million to local park investment
- $200 million to FEMA's Resilience Revolving Loan Fund
- $20 million per year to EPA's Wetlands Program Development Grants
- $8.7 million over 5 years to FEMA's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program
- $7 billion per year by 2024 to USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program and $200 million per year to Conservation Innovation Grant
- $7 billion per year by 2024 to USDA's Conservation Stewardship Program
- Enroll 40 million acres of marginal land to USDA's Conservation Reserve Program by 2030
- $1 billion per year to USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program
- i$1.5 billion per year by 2024 to USDA's Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

The letter's concluding words read as, "We commend your boldness and vision regarding the implementation of green infrastructure provisions to help mitigate against flooding and improve cities, towns, and rural communities across the U.S. and we stand ready to work with you to advance these priorities in COVID-19 recovery legislation."

https://planning-org-uploaded-media.s3.amazonaws.com/document/Covid-Recovery-Green-Infrastructure-Priorities.pdf

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