Virginia Governor proclaims funding for outside recreation workplace

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed a two-year budget last week that will include nearly $ 245 million for outdoor recreation and Virginia’s world-famous natural areas – welcome announcement for the broader outdoor recreation industry, including the NMMA and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), of which the NMMA is a founding member. The new funding will help greatly expand Virginia’s network of regional hiking trails, Virginia State Parks, and the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

“Virginia is home to a resilient outdoor recreation economy with 41 state parks and more than 450 miles of recreational trails,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Our natural resources attract tens of thousands of visitors each year and open up endless opportunities for economic development across Virginia. This increase in funding will make significant strides in both maintaining the beauty of the Virginia’s landscape and ensuring this critical industry thrives for years to come. “

Outdoor recreational activities employ more than 197,000 people and are estimated to contribute $ 22 billion to Virginia’s economy. The industry also generates $ 1.2 billion in state and local tax revenue. The number of visits to Virginia State Parks rose 13 percent in 2020 to nearly 8 million visits. Some of the Commonwealth’s wildlife sanctuaries have doubled in visitor numbers compared to pre-pandemic numbers, and those increases have continued into 2021.

“More Americans than ever before flocked to the great outdoors and into our nation’s waters in search of peace and quiet, making Governor Northam’s announcement welcome news for the broader outdoor leisure industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). and Chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “On behalf of the marine and fishing industries, the main contributors to the $ 689 billion outdoor recreational industry, we applaud this investment, which will go a long way towards ensuring that Virginia’s land and waters are easily accessible to all communities, while also being that of des State are already being improved. “Robust outdoor leisure sector.”

“Governor Northam’s announcement of $ 245 million to fund outdoor recreation is welcome news for the outdoor industry, the state of Virginia and all Virginia citizens,” said Jessica (Wahl) Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The outdoor recreation economy pays the Virginia’s economy massive dividends of $ 8 billion a year. With this additional investment in programs for hiking trails, state parks, and the state Office of Outdoor Recreation – led by Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commerce for Rural Economic Development Cassidy Rasnick – Virginia will be able to promote, partner and partner outdoors and improve recreational infrastructure. ORR thanks Governor Northam for his commitment to outdoor recreation and our growing industry. We look forward to continuing to work with the state to move forward. “

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