Today's Law As Amended

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AB-556 Outdoor experiences: community access program: grant program.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 5660) is added to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

CHAPTER  3.4. Enhancing Community Access to the Outdoors
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Providing children and underserved communities with access to outdoor experiences increases school performance, builds civic behavior, and improves the overall well-being of California’s residents and communities.
(b) Experiences in natural lands are important to the continuing stewardship of the state’s natural resources.
(c) The mission of the Natural Resources Agency is to restore, protect, and manage the state’s natural, historical, and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration, and respect for all of the communities and interests involved.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall apply:
(a) “Agency” means the Natural Resources Agency.
(b) “Disadvantaged communities” means communities identified pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) “Low-income communities” has the same meaning as that term is defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.
 (a) The agency shall develop and implement a community access program focused on engagement programs, technical assistance, or facilities that maximize safe and equitable physical admittance, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities, to natural or cultural resources, community education programs, or recreational amenities. Community access provided under the program may include any, or any combination, including all, of the following components:
(1) Transportation.
(2) Physical activity programming.
(3) Resource interpretation services.
(4) Multilingual translation services.
(5) Natural science.
(6) Workforce development and career pathways.
(7) Education.
(8) Communication related to water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and other outdoor pursuits.
(b) In advancing approaches to improve access under the program, the agency shall work with all entities that comprise the agency under Section 12805 of the Government Code to ensure that community access is prioritized within relevant programs that make public lands accessible to the public.
 (a) The agency may, in consultation with the entities that comprise the agency under Section 12805 of the Government Code, develop a grant program within a state department for innovative transportation projects that provide disadvantaged and low-income youth with access to outdoor experiences.
(b) Priority for funding under the grant program shall be provided to a nonprofit organization, local agency, or state agency to cover the cost of transportation services from schools, organizations, local agencies, institutions, and other locations in furtherance of providing new and expanded outdoor experiences for disadvantaged and low-income youth.