FVSRA hosts legislators for Parks and Recreation Forum
On Friday, March 12, Fox Valley Special Recreation Association partnered with Illinois Association of Park Districts to host a virtual Legislative Forum. Invitations were extended to state representatives and senators, park and recreation directors, and key staff from the park districts of Batavia, Geneva, Fox Valley, Oswegoland, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, and the Village of South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for leaders from our member agencies to assess the current legislative environment in Springfield and to reinforce the tremendous value that park and recreation services have on quality of life and health and wellness. This year's legislative breakfasts have given park agencies throughout Illinois the opportunity to share an array of success stories that emerged from their ability to pivot in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue providing essential services for working families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and many others during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Peter Murphy, president and CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts.
The primary focus was to connect park and recreation professionals with state legislators to collaborate and bring awareness of current legislation important to conservation, parks and recreation, and special recreation. This annual event serves our communities by educating both area legislators and professionals of critical issues to strategically address through smart, transparent, and impactful legislation.
"This forum brings both sides of the aisle together to best support our communities. Now more than ever, we have seen the importance of access to open space, parks, and recreation services," said Executive Director Alex Engelhardt.
Legislators in attendance were Reps. Barbara Hernandez (House District 83), Dan Ugaste (House District 65), Maura Hirschauer (House District 49), and Lori Price, Constituent Services Director for Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (House District 84).
Also in attendance was Greg Lewis, a member of IAPD's Joint Legislative Committee, "Everyone has a park story especially during the COVID pandemic. The discussion once again at the FVSRA Legislative Forum showed how we as a unit found a way to provide these essential services and continue to create these vital experiences so more park stories can be told."