For Immediate Release: March 3, 2015
Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition Expresses Optimism
Over Governor’s Proposed Budget
Organization Calls for Restoration of Heritage Areas Program Funding
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, today issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal:
“The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition is grateful that the Governor recognizes the importance of maintaining the state programs that protect and restore our drinking water, preserve our farms and open spaces, and provide recreational opportunities.
“We appreciate that the Governor’s proposed budget leaves intact, and in many cases increases, funding for critical investments such as the state’s award winning Growing Greener program, the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund, and Historic and Agriculture Preservation.
“The Governor also made strong positive steps forward in regards to increasing funding for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), while beginning to rollback DCNR’s dependency on Oil and Gas Lease Fund revenues for operational expenses.
“However, the Coalition has grave concerns about the elimination of funding for the Heritage Areas Program, which has successfully conserved and enhanced the state’s natural resources and promoted tourism development for nearly 25 years.
“There is strong public support for this important program, as demonstrated by the Legislature’s reauthorization of funding for it last year. The Coalition looks forward to working with the Wolf Administration and members of the House and Senate to restore this important funding.”