What is the American Rescue Plan Act?

On March 11th, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. This law provides $350 billion in funding for cities, counties and states to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All cities in the USA, no matter their size, will receive ARPA funding. The fund will disperse $45.6 billion for larger cities and $19.5 billion for cities with less than 50,000 residents. 
 

Are parks and outdoor spaces recognized in the ARPA?

Yes, parks and outdoor spaces are recognized in the ARPA. The Department of the Treasury has outlined which investments for park improvements qualify and state that there are other ways that a project could be eligible for funding. Section 2.18 of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds FAQ states three improvements that apply to outdoor spaces and parks which are:

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Investing in parks and public outdoor recreation spaces in communities that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted by promoting healthier living environments, recreation, and socialization to improve their health and wellness.

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Assisting small businesses in communities to improve their outdoor spaces such as outdoor patios or improving the neighborhood’s environment.

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Helping with park maintenance and repair caused by an increased use of public spaces and parks throughout the pandemic.  

Benefits of Outdoor Fitness Equipment in Public Spaces and Parks

Use your ARPA funding to buy new outdoor fitness equipment for our community. The average gym membership in the USA costs between $400-$600 a year, and the economic impact of COVID-19 has reduced many households' disposable income. Therefore, gym memberships aren't an option for every family. 
An outdoor fitness park is also great for motivating fitness newcomers who may feel intimidated in an indoor gym setting. Outdoor fitness curates a social and welcoming environment perfect for beginners and experts. 

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Lastly, outdoor fitness parks are great for the whole family. Most fitness parks are placed within a playground's site lines, allowing parents to be active with their kids while keeping an eye on their children playing. When kids watch their parents exercising and being active, this instils healthy habits in them.


Providing free outdoor fitness equipment is essential for cities who want to build healthier communities. It is a feasible and socially welcoming option that cities, counties, and townships can add to communities, no matter the geographic size, population, demographic, or fitness level. Fitness should be available and accessible for everyone.