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Rep. Barragán Celebrates Passage of Outdoors for All Act in House as part of EXPLORE Act


9 April 2024

Contact: Kevin G. McGuire | 202-538-2386

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) celebrated the passage of her bill, the Outdoors for All Act, in the House of Representatives as part of the bipartisan Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act.

The Outdoors for All Act, authored by Congresswoman Barragán, codifies the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program in federal law and modernizes the program to include smaller cities, tribes, and to fully account for the benefits parks provide. The ORLP supports urban parks in underserved communities. 

“I am so excited to see my bill included in the EXPLORE Act to help millions of Americans more easily access green spaces,” said Rep. Barragán. “By passing the Outdoors for All Act, we make it crystal clear that funding for urban parks is here to stay.  Growing up in the Harbor Gateway, I had to take a bus to travel to a park for baseball practice. Far too many low-income communities like the one I grew up in lack access to a nearby green space.  By preserving the ORLP, we can provide much needed urban park funding for underserved communities throughout our country.” 

The EXPLORE Act now heads to the Senate, which has also passed a bipartisan outdoor recreation bill, which includes Outdoors for All, through committee. 

“Trust for Public Land commends the House of Representatives for passing the Outdoors for All Act as part of the bipartisan EXPLORE ACT,” said Luis Benitez, Chief Impact Officer forTrust for Public Land. “This legislation is of critical importance in addressing the severe park access gap affecting 100 million Americans, including 28 million children. Access to the outdoorsis a fundamental human need, and parks are not mere amenities but essential public infrastructure crucial for fostering healthier, more connected communities. Today’s vote was a significant step toward achieving equitable outdoor recreation opportunities for all communities across the country. 

Trust for Public Land thanks Rep. Nanette Barragán for her leadership on Outdoors for All.  Rep. Barragán co-sponsored the original legislation and has shepherded it through the House – she is a true trailblazer for the creation of parks for the communities that can benefit the most.” 

“The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is thrilled to see the House of Representatives pass the EXPLORE Act package, including the bipartisan Outdoors for All Act, which will ensure that the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program has steady funding for generations to come,” said Kristine Stratton, CEO of NRPA. “This marks a huge step toward securing a win for our more than 60,000 members and advocates, who work tirelessly to serve the public through park and recreation opportunities in urban and rural communities throughout the country, preserving and protecting the outdoors. We now urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan, critical piece of legislation.”

“Whether it’s inaccessible trails, a lack of parks within walking distance, or the increasing costs and confusion of permits and fees, many families struggle to safely or affordably access our public lands,” said Robert Scott, Deputy Federal Policy Director of the Sierra Club. “It is wonderful to see the House acknowledge the importance of outdoor access by passing Outdoors For All, as part of the EXPLORE Act and improving access to the great outdoors.” 

“The Outdoors for All Act will give Americans without adequate park access, particularly those living in low-income areas and indigenous communities, greater opportunities to experience green spaces and public lands,” said Lesley Kane Szynal, Chair of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition.  “This strengthens and codifies the LWCF-funded Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program making Tribes and more local communities directly eligible to receive program dollars.”

“The Outdoors for All Act will leverage the power of nature to benefit millions of underserved communities who have gone without adequate funding to access quality green spaces,” said Daniel Rossman, California Deputy Director at The Wilderness Society. “By ensuring that more people – regardless of race, income or geography – can benefit from our nation’s public lands, this legislation will also advance better health outcomes, boost local economies and increase climate resilience for communities that need it most.”

“KABOOM! applauds the passage of the Outdoors For All Act and Every Kid Outdoors program extension within the EXPLORE Act,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM! “Nature and nature-based play are vital to a child’s healthy physical and mental development. Programs which reduce systemic barriers to these activities are critically important to ensure every child can experience the benefits that access to nature provides. We want to thank the long-time champions of these programs for prioritizing kids having access to the outdoors.” 

“It is great to see Congress acknowledge the importance of inclusive legislation and on a bipartisan level by passing the EXPLORE Act,” said Julia Hurwit, Campaign Manager forOAK. “Members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) are united by a shared mission to help more children, youth and families access the outdoors. The EXPLORE Act is going to provide a solid foundation for our work for the next few years by increasing the opportunities for children to access public lands, expanding options for families that want to spend time in nature, and offering safe and improved outdoor recreation amenities to communities.”

“At REI Co-op we believe everyone should have easy access to nature, yet 100 million Americans lack access to a quality green space close to home,” said Taldi Harrison, Director of Community & Government Affairs, REI Co-op. “The EXPLORE Act, a first-of-its-kind package of outdoor recreation bills, will both strengthen our public lands and increase opportunities forall people to enjoy time outside. The bill centers bipartisan solutions that increase equitable access to the outdoors by increasing resources for outdoor recreation, including long-distance trails and urban parks in historically overlooked communities.”

“We are thrilled to see Congress taking action to ensure each American has the opportunity to enjoy outdoor spaces in their own community, bolster economic growth, and advance mental and physical health benefits for all,” said Kent Ebersole, president of Outdoor Industry Association. “The outdoor recreation economy continues to soar to new levels, accounting for over $1 trillion in consumer spending and demonstrating participant growth for the eighth consecutive year. This is an important inflection point. We must modernize, preserve, and increase access to the public lands and waterways – regardless of where someone lives or works – and support more than five million employees who help drive our industry forward.” 

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Congressmember Nanette Barragán represents California’s 44th District.  She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and works on environmental justice and healthcare issues.  She is also Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).