(Sacramento, CA) – As the Legislature considers the upcoming state budget surplus, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), long-time park champion and author of Prop 68, California’s 2018 Parks and Water Bond, is leading a $1 billion budget request to support the Statewide Parks Program and Outdoor Equity Grants Program. On Tuesday, May 17, Assemblymember Garcia joined Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymembers Robert Rivas (D-Salinas), Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), and Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) to promote this parks equity funding request at the California State Parks Foundation’s Rise Up for Parks rally.
“Access to local parks and outdoor recreation improves community health and transforms lives. A historic budget surplus provides us with the opportunity to bring big investments directly back to Californians, and this $1 billion request for community parks and outdoor equity programs should be a priority,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Our ability to replenish funding into grant programs, like statewide parks that have already proven effective, is vital as we strive to fulfill California’s parks for all promise.”
Funding for the Statewide Parks Program is currently exhausted. This program has proven successful in providing grants to California’s most underserved communities, like those in Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s district. It has allowed California to award $803 million in grants since the passage of Prop 68 in 2018. Garcia and other legislators wish to allocate $800 million of their $1 billion ask to replenish those funds and help more communities build new and improve existing parks.
Legislators note that the pandemic has brought a sharper focus to the inequities that continue to exist in the availability of local parks, greenspaces and in access to the outdoor programs across the state making this $1 billion funding request all the more urgent.
Senators Maria Elena Durazo and Monique Limon and Assemblymembers Robert Rivas, Wendy Carrillo, Cristina Garcia, and Ash Kalra signed on to Assemblymember Garcia’s $1 billion funding request for the California Department of Parks and Recreation.