Senate Democrats

REID LEGISLATION TO EXPAND A POPULAR PARK TAKES A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Committee Passes Bill to Allow for Additional Athletic Fields and Construction of a Recreation Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada announced today that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the Ed Fountain Park Expansion Act.

The Act, which Reid sponsored, would transfer approximately eight acres of federal land to the City of Las Vegas for the expansion of the popular park. Nevada Representative Shelly Berkley has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. “Ed Fountain Park is used by many residents in the Las Vegas community. The community benefits from family-oriented activities that take place there. It has been home to youth sports games and practices, family picnics and reunions,” said Reid. “Passage of this legislation will help ensure those same recreational opportunities for our future generations and Nevadans to enjoy. This is a step in the right direction.”

Ed Fountain Park is one of the best known and well-used parks in the City of Las Vegas. Located in a mature part of the City, adjacent to the City’s oldest golf course, Ed Fountain Park has provided recreational opportunities for generations of local residents. For many years it has been home to Pop Warner football practices, youth soccer games, and family picnics and reunions. On any given day or night, a multitude of activities are taking place at the park, many of which are associated with numerous nonprofit organizations that utilize the park’s resources.

The City of Las Vegas contacted Reid in the fall of 2005 to express their interest in expanding Fountain Park by acquiring land next to the park. The City intends to use the space for additional athletic fields, and for a recreation center that could also house office space for non-profit groups.

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada is a co-sponsor of the measure.

“Parks, including Ed Fountain Park, are an important part of Nevada’s communities and create opportunities for families to spend time together,” Ensign said. “I want to commend Senator Reid for helping push this project through and I hope Ed Fountain Park provides family-oriented recreational activities for generations to come.”

The land to be transferred to the city previously served as the headquarters for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, which has now moved to the joint Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, and Forest Service office in North Las Vegas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is not authorized to transfer parcels administratively, so legislation is needed to facilitate the transfer. Reid’s bill will now go to the Senate floor for potential passage by the full Senate.

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