SAN FRANCISCO – Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department today commend the 50th Anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and celebrate the historic accomplishments of the Department of the Interior, and its partnership with the City and County of San Francisco.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a vital investment that provides a sustainable future for San Francisco,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “LWCF invests in outdoor recreation and open space that will keep our City healthy and thriving for many generations to come.”
“As San Francisco’s park steward, SF Rec and Park knows how important outdoor recreational and green space is for a healthy and thriving community,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manger. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided us the opportunity to protect our green space.”
LWCF is funded from a fraction of the proceeds from federal offshore oil and gas leasing royalties, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars. However, the diversion of LWCF funding has been diverted to other purpose, as a result, state and local governments have been severely limited in their capacity to develop parks and open spaces and protect green space and local water supplies in light of rapidly increasing populations.
In fact, the LWCF State Assistance program has invested more than $287,883,182 in California since 1965 and has funded local projects in San Francisco such as over $1.6 million for McLaren Park since 1967 and most recently $102,000 for the Visitacion Greenway Development Improvements and $115,000 for Buena Vista Park, $186,746 for the McLaren Park Connector Trail (2011), $249,835 for McLaren Bike Park (2013), and $743,534 Noe Valley Town Square (pending approval), and to just to name a few.
Mayor Lee is a member of Mayors for Parks, a national bipartisan coalition of mayors supporting renewal and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Mayors for Parks is a project of City Parks Alliance.
“Mayors around the country are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. They know the critical role that parks play in improving the health and vitality of their cities and surrounding regions and understand that LWCF is an important source of funding to protect and enhance urban green space.” said Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance’s Executive Director.
LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to preserve, develop and assure accessibility to quality outdoor recreation resources to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States. Investments from the LWCF program support the creation of public parks in rural and urban communities throughout America, protect green space and local water supplies, guarantee outdoor recreation opportunities, spur economic development, create jobs and significantly aid national efforts to promote health, connect youth to nature and the outdoors, combat childhood obesity and protect the environment.