Topic: Public Funding

News & Insights

Evaluation Underscores Value of Collaborative, Community-Driven Parks Building Model

People need parks. Parks improve physical and mental health, strengthen family and community relationships, reduce youth crime and violence, enhance neighborhood pride and identity, provide economic benefits, decrease health care costs, increase biodiversity, improve air quality, reduce runoff and water pollution, reduce temperatures, mitigate climate change, foster an environmental ethic, and more. Unfortunately, access to these body-mind-community benefits is wildly inequitable. For decades, Black, Brown, and low-income communities have faced historic disenfranchisement and oppression from redlining and other policies that have led to chronic social, economic, and environmental stressors such as poverty, violence, and pollution. California is finally changing its…

News & Insights

We Must Invest More in Climate Adaptation

As California communities begin to recover after a series of atmospheric rivers caused death and immense economic damages nearly state-wide, we must reckon with the need to increase investment in climate change adaptation and resilience. The Newsom Administration’s proposed 2023-2024 budget, released two weeks ago, maintains significant funding for fighting climate change and protecting communities from its impacts.  Yet it still reflects difficult decisions to decrease funding for extreme heat and community resilience, nature-based solutions, coastal resilience, and other strategies that help us adapt to the climate impacts already upon us. While the Governor seeks additional sources of funding from…

Publications

Proposed Funding Pathways for Adaptation to Climate Change in California

This report explores new or expanded funding sources and financial tools that state and local governments in California can use to prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change in a fiscally responsible and equitable manner. The four pathways focus on funding for regional transportation planning, extreme heat policy reform, resilience finance districts, and wildfire risk reduction. This report, released on April 30, 2021, is authored by the OnClimate Team with support from Resources Legacy Fund.

Programs

California Coastal Program

Established in 2012, the California Coastal Program (CCP) seeks to elevate conservation of California’s coastal environment and equitable public access to the coast as priorities for California policymakers. CCP works to advance public funding and policies that address sea level rise and other climate change impacts to coastal ecosystems and communities, and it ensures that relevant public agencies remain transparent and accountable. CCP also seeks to align West Coast offshore renewable energy development with state strategies for conservation, equity, and justice, and support renewable energy planning and permitting that is science-based, equitable, and broadly inclusive of input from stakeholders and…

Programs

Parks Forward Implementation Initiative

In 2015, California’s Parks Forward Commission, with support from leading California philanthropies, set forth an ambitious ten-year vision for California parks. The Commission’s recommendations call for modernizing the California Department of Parks and Recreation to improve and diversify partnerships, provide access to all Californians, and ensure stable, diverse funding for parks. RLF collaborates with the Department, California Natural Resources Agency, and park partners to implement high priority Commission recommendations that deliver tangible outcomes in parks for all Californians.

Programs

Montana Parks Program

RLF launched the Montana Parks Program (MPP) in 2018 to support Montana’s Parks in Focus Initiative, an effort modeled after California’s Parks Forward Initiative, aimed at addressing the ailing Montana state parks system. Through MPP, RLF has conducted extensive public outreach and education, and is helping to shape and advance a set of recommendations that create more diverse and stable funding sources for state parks; broaden and strengthen the constituency for parks; and connect state parks to larger recreation and economic initiatives and community needs. 

Programs

Equitable Infrastructure for Los Angeles

With the passing of Measures A, M, and W in Los Angeles  and California Proposition 68—all developed and passed with the help of our partners—Los Angeles is poised to transform communities with billions of dollars of public funding for parks, transportation, drinking water, and coastal protection. Working with local groups, RLF is advancing a vision that will drive these new public funds toward priority parks and multiple-benefit infrastructure projects in disadvantaged communities. This Los Angeles-focused program, launched in 2019, builds on RLF’s successful track record of policy and funding work and community engagement to leverage and mobilize recently created public…

Programs

California Environmental Equity Initiative

California Environmental Equity Initiative (CEEI) seeks to strengthen California climate and environmental policies and increase public funding to address intersecting environmental, climate, social, and health issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. CEEI focuses on building capacity, power, and leadership among younger, more ethnically diverse  leaders, organizations, and coalitions advocating for environmental outcomes that benefit their communities and better meet the needs of California’s most marginalized residents. The program supports community-driven efforts that increase access to parks, public lands, and safe drinking water and build resilience to climate change in ways that enhance justice, health, and well-being.

Programs

San Francisco Bay Area Conservation

RLF has been working in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001, when it commenced efforts to secure the acquisition of commercial salt ponds surrounding the San Francisco Bay. Current efforts support wetlands restoration around the Bay, with a focus on building a diverse constituency to support equitable, long-term funding and government policies for Bay restoration and flood improvements, including the effective implementation of Measure AA.   RLF also supports a regional land conservation approach in the Bay Area that boosts ecosystem resilience for conservation and communities. RLF focuses on multi-benefit conservation efforts that protect and restore high-value habitat and…

News & Insights

Even a Child Can See: Parks Access is More Important than Ever

The other day, my daughter asked if it was safe for us to have a family beach day again. She immediately frowned when I reminded her that even if a nearby beach were open, we would have nowhere to park because the lots are closed. “So, only people close enough to walk there, get to go to the beach?” she asked. “How is that fair?” She’s only 11 years old, but she already understands something many adults don’t: That everyone needs access to outdoor spaces, but not everyone has it. The COVID-19 crisis is reminding us how essential parks and…

Publications

CCI Constituency Engagement Strategy Evaluation

RLF commissioned this report to evaluate the constituency engagement strategy of its California Conservation Innovations (CCI) program. A research team conducted 19 interviews, two focus group sessions, and an online survey of 75 grantees to describe CCI’s grantmaking approach and its impact. This report summarizes the findings and makes five recommendations to RLF that can further evolve CCI’s constituency building strategy and outcomes.

Publications

Finding Ways to Pay for Climate Adaptation

RLF supported and guided AECOM’s creation of Paying for Climate Adaptation in California: A Primer for Practitioners. The October 2018 report describes options for investing in more resilient California communities and infrastructure and recommends ways to overcome the challenges that discourage cities, counties, water districts, utilities, state agencies, private companies, and other entities from making the investments California needs to thrive despite climate change. (Summary can be found here.)