Visit puts focus on access to the outdoors, ecosystem restoration
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
SAN ANTONIO — Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau visited Texas this week to highlight investments through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program that will enable urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities.
On Monday, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau joined Austin Mayor Steve Adler, local elected officials, and community leaders to highlight a new $61.1 million investment through the ORLP program in communities across the nation. Established in 2014, the program leverages public-private funds to support 27 projects in 26 American cities to create new parks and trails or make substantial renovations to existing parks.
The leaders toured Montopolis Neighborhood Park, which stands to receive a $3 million grant to upgrade recreation activity pools, renovate and expand park infrastructure, and complete site and utility work. They later visited Edward Rendon Sr. Metro Park, the recipient of previous ORLP funding that turned a former brownfield site into a city park with recreational facilities and a lakefront trail. Funds from the grant helped build 2,000 feet of trails and installed accessible overlooks with views of Lady Bird Lake.
These efforts advance the America the Beautiful initiative’s goals to advance equity, biodiversity and climate resiliency through collaborative and locally led conservation. The Biden-Harris administration recently announced the $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge, which is being funded partly through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will leverage federal conservation and restoration investments with private and philanthropic contributions to accelerate land, water and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.
Deputy Secretary Beaudreau later visited Kendall County, Texas, where he toured a new fish passage project funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will remove a man-made earthen dam, restore native vegetation, and reconnect natural springs with a lake habitat that will enable rare salamanders and aquifer species to move more freely and complete their life cycles. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $200 million in the National Fish Passage Program, which supports aquatic ecosystem restoration projects to restore fish passage and aquatic connectivity by removing or bypassing barriers.
On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau traveled to San Antonio to deliver remarks at the CLEANPOWER 2022 conference. He underscored the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to unlocking and delivering the full potential of renewable energy on America’s public lands and waters. The Department has recently taken a series of significant steps to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and permit 25,000 megawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal energy production on public lands no later than 2025.