In Lawrence, Tsongas will announce plans to reintroduce legislation to help cities create green space

Legislation was developed with Groundworks Lawrence

LAWRENCE, MA – May 12, 2011- Next week, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas will join volunteers from Groundworks Lawrence to announce new legislation she is filing to help urban communities turn blighted environments into public parks or other usable green spaces.  Tsongas’ bill, developed in consultation with the nonprofit group Groundworks Lawrence, would create a dedicated funding stream of federal funding to ensure support for the twenty existing Groundworks programs nationwide and enable other cities to launch similar initiatives.

Groundworks projects have proven to be a sound investment for the federal government.  Since 2001, Groundwork Lawrence has completed over $6 million in public open space improvement projects while receiving only $240,000 in seed funding: a $24 to $1 ratio.

Currently, federal funding for programs like Groundwork Lawrence is sporadic and unreliable, leading to a back-log of proposals from communities that meet the necessary requirements for federal support but which ultimately go unfunded.   By ensuring dedicated federal funding of Groundworks projects, and centralizing the administration of the Groundworks program through the National Parks Service, Tsongas bill would provide needed stability for these nonprofit groups and enable them to improve the environmental and economic conditions in urban areas.

WHO: Congresswoman Niki Tsongas; Groundwork Lawrence Executive Director, Heather McMann, Groundworks Lawrence volunteers

WHAT: Announcement on the Groundwork USA Trust Act of 2011

WHERE: Manchester Street Park, 77 Manchester Street, Lawrence, MA

WHEN: Tuesday, May 17th, 11 AM

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John W. Noble

Communications Director

Rep. Niki Tsongas

202-225-3411