April 4, 2016
Media Statement by Will Allen, Vice President of Strategic Conservation Planning and Integrated Services, The Conservation Fund

"The Conservation Fund congratulates Amigos de los Rios on receiving the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2016 Award for Excellence in Sustainability for a Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Project for its work on the Emerald Necklace Forest to Ocean Expanded Vision plan for Los Angeles County. The plan protects water resources while expanding parks and green infrastructure, particularly in underserved L.A. communities. The APA Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honor projects, plans, policies, individuals and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities.

"The urban challenges facing the Los Angeles region today include traffic, air pollution, swelling populations and a lack of parks, playgrounds and public beaches. The Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision plan is part of an effort—building on the 2005 Emerald Necklace Plan, which created a 17-mile loop of greenspace in L.A. County’s upper San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Watersheds—to create a network of parks, trails and greenways across Los Angeles County, connecting the forest to the ocean. Efforts like this that turn underutilized gray spaces to green spaces create Parks with Purpose that offer multiple benefits to individuals, families and communities

"The Fund is proud to have partnered with Amigos de los Rios to help them take a regional approach to green infrastructure that is helping to reconnect people and wildlife to the county’s lands and waters. The plan increases access to open spaces for L.A. county citizens, most importantly those in disadvantaged communities who previously had little access to nature, improving air and water quality, community health, and creating green job opportunities.

"We congratulate Amigos de los Rios on this important recognition for their success, which has become a model for metropolitan parks and recreation opportunities that will help create a greener, sustainable future for our cities."

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985.