This week, the Environmental Stewardship Fund—known as Growing Greener—celebrates 20 years of protecting clean water, reducing flooding, conserving and restoring land, and improving parks and trails.
On December 15, 1999, Governor Ridge signed the bipartisan legislation that established the Environmental Stewardship Fund (ESF) to support projects to improve water quality, reduce flooding, preserve open space and farmland, restore damaged land, and enhance outdoor recreation.
In the 20 years since, ESF grants have improved the lives of millions of Pennsylvanians while revitalizing communities and boosting our state’s economy. As we celebrate this landmark, we can’t lose sight of the fact that there’s much more work to do.There are still more than 19,000 miles of rivers and streams unsafe for drinking, swimming, fishing, and boating.
State parks and forests require nearly $1 billion in necessary repairs.
More than 200,000 acres of abandoned mine lands and thousands of brownfield sites pollute our water and threaten human health and safety.
And the list goes on.
Please contact your state senators and representatives this week in honor of the anniversary, and:
- Explain the importance of the ESF to your community. (Find specific ESF projects here.)
- Let them know that with the huge problems facing Pennsylvania, and local projects in need of funding, a strong ESF is needed more than ever.
- Ask them to increase state environmental investments for 2020–2021, including boosting ESF.