Since it was established in 1999, Growing Greener has a tremendous legacy of success.
But to ensure that Pennsylvanians continue to have access to clean water, parks and trails, green open spaces, and locally grown food, Governor Wolf and the General Assembly must provide adequate funding for a Growing Greener III program by investing robust and adequate funding in vital conservation, recreation, preservation, and community revitalization projects. These investments support our state’s economy and enhance the health of our communities and quality of life for our residents.
Growing Greener III is needed to ensure that our communities can continue to address critical environmental priorities in three key areas: Conserving Land and Water Resources; Restoring Damaged Waterways and Land; and Creating Prosperous and Sustainable Communities
Conserving Land and Water Resources
Pennsylvania’s natural treasures—our mountains, forests, fields, farmland and rivers and streams—support our economy, create healthy communities, and provide recreation for our families. The viability of our two biggest industries—agriculture and tourism—depends on the availability of open space, parks, farmland, wildlife habitat, and clean waterways.
We are facing significant challenges in our ability to meet our obligations to future generations. We are losing three times as much forest, wildlife habitat, farmland, and other open spaces to development as we are able to conserve. Poorly planned and poorly managed development threatens our rivers and streams with uncontrolled stormwater, flooding, and pollution.
Restoring Damaged Waterways and Land
Pennsylvania has a scarred history when it comes to natural resource extraction—whether it be oil, timber, or coal. Pennsylvania suffers from the most serious abandoned mine problem in the country, one that has left a legacy of contaminated water and land.
Approximately 26,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers are so polluted they are listed on Pennsylvania’s list of impaired waters. In addition, adequate resources must be provided to address abandoned mine and hazardous sites. Brownfields need to be cleaned and recycled to viable community assets and orphaned and abandoned wells need to be plugged.
Creating Prosperous and Sustainable Communities
Growing Greener III will provide needed funding for programs that green community downtowns and neighborhoods; enhance urban waterways and riverfronts; preserve historic structures and landscapes; and create parks, recreation areas, greenways, and trails. Growing Greener III will assist Pennsylvania in positioning its older communities to take advantage of changing demographic and economic trends to improve the health and quality of life of its residents and visitors.