Local Governments Support Growing Greener Program

For Immediate Release:  October 28, 2011 

Local Governments Recognize Benefits of Growing Greener Program
Support for Key State Environmental, Conservation and Recreation Program Continues to Grow

(HARRISBURG, PA) An increasing number of local governments throughout Pennsylvania are voicing support for efforts to restore state funding for Growing Greener, the Renew Growing Greener Coalition announced today.

More than 100 municipalities and 26 counties – representing more than 6.5 million Pennsylvanians – have adopted resolutions in support of the program, with the following municipalities joining the list of supporters this week:

  • East Berlin Borough, Adams County
  • Menallen Township, Adams County
  • East Rockhill Township, Bucks County
  • Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County

In addition, the Tioga County Commissioners this week adopted a resolution in support of Growing Greener.

“Elected leaders across the Commonwealth know the tremendous value Growing Greener has brought to their local communities,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition.  “As the legislature deliberates over an impact fee on natural gas drilling, the Coalition urges lawmakers to heed the public and allocate a significant portion of revenues to Growing Greener so that future generations have access to clean drinking water, fresh air, parks, trails and green open spaces.”

Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Governor Tom Ridge and later expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell.  Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 33,700 acres of Pennsylvania’s family farmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres to state parks and forests, capping more than 2,100 abandoned wells and restoring over 16,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.

Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed and leveraged billions of dollars to the Pennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.

Yet despite the program’s accomplishments, funding for Growing Greener projects and grants fell from an average of approximately $150 million per year for the last six years to $27.3 million in the current state budget, more than an 80 percent reduction.

About the Renew Growing Greener Coalition The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the Commonwealth’s largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations representing more than 350 organizations and government entities.  For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.

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