Nature For All
On May 1st, environmental organizations from throughout the state, including The Escondido Creek Conservancy, worked together to urge California’s leaders to deliver on the promise of Proposition 68: Outdoor Access for All. Although Prop 68 was voted and passed on the premise of facilitating equitable outdoor access, requests to fund community access projects have been stalled by bureaucratic wrangling over the bond language.
More than any previous bond measure, Prop 68 represents the single largest investment in parks, water, and natural resources to benefit underserved communities. The clear language of this bond measure prioritized building local parks in the areas that lack them most and improving access to public lands, including through outdoor education.
Voters and supporters of Prop 68 expected that Community Access Program funds would be available along with all the other budget allocations for Prop 68. Yet unfortunately, no Prop 68 funding has been appropriated for these programs. Conservancy Education Manager Simon Breen and Education Coordinator Jennifer Imm traveled to Sacramento on May 1st to meet with State Legislators on this matter.
The Conservancy strongly believes this is an equity issue. Parks can be built, but not everyone has equal access to these spaces. By allocating funds for community access—which is what voters approved when they passed Prop 68—children from “park poor” communities like Escondido can experience the outdoors through transformative programs, such as the ones provided by the Conservancy. We hope our efforts will make a difference and the will of the voters will prevail.