Tell the Fairfax Supervisors to prioritize parks and trails!
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Fairfax County’s proposed budget for FY 2023 comes with good and bad news. The good: funding for 2 new full time staff dedicated to active transportation planning! The bad: significant underfunding for Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).
We need your help to advocate for more funding for FCPA and continue to support active transportation!
Simply put, the current allocation is inadequate to clean and maintain a park system with 24,000 acres, 427 parks, 334 miles of trails, serving over 1 million residents and with more than 18 million visits per year. Increased investment is needed to keep up with the growing demand for parks, trails, natural areas and green spaces – we’ve all experienced the flocking to outdoor spaces during the pandemic. Funding is also desperately needed to ensure that FCPA, historically reliant on fee-based services for up to 60% of its budget, can adapt and address systemic inequities in accessibility as mandated by the County’s One Fairfax equity policy. It will be devastating if FCPA is forced to institute or raise fees, restrict access, and eliminate programs to cope with a stagnant budget, especially for low-income and communities of color already living with fewer nearby green spaces.
The big issues:
- FCPA requested FY23 funding of $5 million for increased implementation of the One Fairfax program to increase accessibility of all programming (including fee-based programs). The County Executive proposes only $500,000 or 10% of the requested funding, resulting in significant continuing inequitable access to programs.
- FCPA requested FY23 funding of $751,954 to implement sustainable natural resource management and to improve management of natural resources in its parks including trails. The County Executive only proposes $50,000 or 6.6% of the requested funding.
- Most significantly, the County Executive proposes changing and reducing the funding used for major capital projects like trail construction and rehabilitation. Rather than receiving $100 million over a 4-year bond cycle, FCPA would receive $100 million over a 6-year period.
We are calling on all Fairfax County residents to call or email Supervisor to let them know that trails and parks are important to you and need more funding.
Email your supervisor today! [button to generate targeted message]
- SUPPORT funding for new active transportation staff to grow Fairfax County’s non-car transit network.
- DEMAND that the Board of Supervisors and County Executive fully fund FCPA’s maintenance and equity work.
- REJECT the change to a 6-year bond cycle and instead increase the bond amount to $150 million over 4 years to address the backlog of capital maintenance and repair projects.
We know growing the County’s trail network and preserving open spaces are top priorities for Fairfax County residents – speak up today! Your voice matters and the public budget process is an important and effective way to affect the County’s direction.
Keep your eye out for upcoming public budget hearings between April 12-14. You can also sign up to speak at your Supervisor’s Budget Town Hall Meeting. Need help crafting your testimony? Let us know!