Max Schaefer, Northeast Regional Coordinator, June 15, 2018
If you grew up in the city of Lorain, surely you’ve spent time enjoying one of our public parks, such as Central Park, Riverside Park, Columbus Park, Longfellow Park, or Day’s Dam. While all of these parks lay within the city of Lorain, they also have something else in common; they all have received funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Whether you’ve fished off the docks at Riverside, or have taken your kid for a hike at Day’s Dam, you have benefited from the LWCF.
I know my childhood was shaped by these parks. Almost every day during the summer I would ride my bike down to Central Park and play basketball, go swimming, or play on the jungle gym with friends and neighborhood pals. I am still friends with people I met playing for teams like IBEW and City Club in the Lorain Youth Baseball league at Columbus Park.
I also fondly remember walking the paths of Day’s Dam with fellow Southview High School marching band members for our annual Walk-a-thon so we could raise money to perform in Disney World! Little did I know back then that the LWCF provided critical funding for each of these childhood hangouts.
Since its inception in 1964, this federally funded program has helped local communities purchase land and improve infrastructure across the nation and within Ohio. On a smaller scale, Lorain County has seen nearly $2 million in LWCF investment since 1964. This critical funding has helped create a healthier and more prosperous community.
After the Fund was authorized for two 25-year periods, it was only authorized for 3 years starting in 2015. That means, on September 20, 2018, the LWCF will need to be reauthorized.
I speak of local parks that have benefited myself, friends, and family, but the fact of the matter is that LWCF has benefited thousands of cities and counties in every corner of our country. It deserves a long term reauthorization by Congress and should immediately be signed by the president.
We need your support on this effort. Please contact your Congressperson and Senator today and speak out in favor of a fully funded LWCF.