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Tennessee will get $818,000 in federal money this year to help improve or create new parks for outdoor recreation.

The funding is part of $43.4 million the U.S. Department of Interior is handing out to states as part of its Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was established 50 years ago.

During that time, Tennessee has received roughly $73.4 million for parks projects, according to figures provided by the department.

"These local projects — parks, ball fields, open spaces — play an important role in improving the health and vitality of urban areas, and protecting natural areas for future generations of Americans to enjoy," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a news release.

The program is funded by a portion of the revenue the federal government gets from leasing areas for offshore oil and gas rigs.

The program is set to expire, and the secretary is urging Congress to take action to make the fund permanent.

"Investments in our shared outdoor heritage make sense not only for our land, water and wildlife, but they make sense for our economy," Jewell said.

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