Local Support Continues to Grow

For Immediate Release:  November 11, 2011 

Local Support for Growing Greener Continues to Spread Across Commonwealth
Municipal, County Governments Urge Legislature to Restore Funding for Key Environmental Program

(HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today announced that 11 more municipalities, counties and organizations this week have formally voiced support for restoring Growing Greener, the state’s primary source of funding to help local communities protect water quality, preserve open space and farmland, and enhance parks, trails and other recreational opportunities.

At least 140 government entities including 30 counties – representing more than seven million Pennsylvanians – have adopted resolutions in support of the program, with the following municipalities joining the list of supporters this week:

  • Cooke Township, Cumberland County
  • Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County
  • Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County
  • Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County
  • Plymouth Township, Montgomery County
  • Norriton Township, Montgomery County
  • Towamencin Township, Montgomery County
  • Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County

In addition, the Dauphin County Commissioners also adopted a resolution supporting Growing Greener.

“In Dauphin County, we have preserved more than 13,000 acres of farmland thanks to the Growing Greener program,” said Jeff Haste, chairman of the Dauphin County Board of Commissioners. “Continuing this program will help counties continue to preserve green, open space and farmland for future generations.”

The Allegheny County Conservation District and the Stanley Cooper, Sr. Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Kingston, Luzerne County signed statements of support.

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 103,000 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.  This is 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 nearly 400 organizations and government entities.  For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.

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