by Photo courtesy of Secretary Deb Haaland via Twitter.

San Diego County is poised to receive a total of $10 million in federal grant funding to support the development of two parks in part of an initiative to increase access to outdoor spaces. 

U.S. Secreatary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz announced $61.1 million in grants available to communities in 26 cities across the nation. San Diego County will receive $5 million respectively for the development of Bayer Park in San Diego and Sweetwater Park in Chula Vista. 

The funding will be granted through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program, to create new parks and trails or substantial renovations to existing parks. The program enables urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities.

“Access to the outdoors is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and every community in America but not everyone has the same equitable opportunities to enjoy green spaces,” said Secretary Haaland. “Funding from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership will continue to expand our communities’ connections to urban green spaces, where children can play, families can connect, and a love and appreciation for the outdoors can be nurtured.”

San Diego received $8.5 million in California Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program in December for the construction of Beyer Park in San Ysidro. Chula Vista received $9 million for the development of Patty Davis Park and Eucalyptus Park under the same program, whose funding is a part of ORLP. 

According to Haaland, these efforts further advance the America the Beautiful initiative’s goals to advance equity, and biodiversity through collaborative and locally-led conservation. She also highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge, funded partly through President Biden’s $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“So much of the work of the National Park Service takes place in local communities through programs like the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “Now in its eighth year, the program leverages federal funds to provide economically disadvantaged communities with the means to create and improve parks, trails, and recreation opportunities. We look forward to providing more grant opportunities like this to states across the count

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