For Immediate Release: July 14, 2016
Coalition Statement on Budget Agreement: Keep PA Growing Greener
(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 the state budget agreement.
“We are pleased that the Governor and General Assembly have reached a bipartisan budget agreement that allows Pennsylvania to move forward.
“The Coalition is thankful that funding for the state’s Heritage Areas has been restored so we can continue to protect Pennsylvania’s historic treasures and the significant cultural and economic benefits they bring. We are also grateful to both the House and the Senate for passing legislation to recognize this essential program.
“As we look ahead to the future, we strongly urge the Governor and General Assembly to invest in a Growing Greener III program to ensure that Pennsylvanians continue to have access to clean drinking water, parks and trails, green open spaces, and locally grown farm fresh food.
“This budget reflects the second year the Growing Greener program has experienced a significant reduction of $15 million. Combined with last year’s cut, the communities and non-profits that rely on Growing Greener funding have lost more than $30 million for critical projects and programs.
“Since the mid-2000s, funding for Growing Greener has been cut by more than 75 percent. Governor Wolf and the General Assembly must act soon to provide adequate funding for the program – which has long enjoyed bipartisan public support – and to protect our water resources and Keep Pennsylvania Growing Greener.”