Monthly Executive Director Message: State Budget

Monthly Executive Director Message: State Budget

February, 2014

Monthly Message from Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener Coalition

Dear Coalition Supporters and Friends:

Thank you to those Coalition partners who attended our planning meeting in Harrisburg last month.  We had a productive day charting our course for the upcoming months and discussing a long-term approach for future conservation, recreation and preservation funding.

Coincidentally, just two days after our meeting, Governor Corbett announced $20.65 million in Growing Greener grants for projects statewide that will improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage and promote environmental education.

Congratulations to the awardees, many of which are Coalition members. For a full list, click here.

As we all know, these grants are important investments in our communities and play a significant role in combating pollution and keeping our drinking water clean.

Fortunately, the Governor’s proposed budget introduced earlier this month protects funding for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund as well as Keystone ’93 and Historic and Agriculture Preservation.

However, the spending proposal eliminates 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.

The Legislature rightly rescued this important program last year restoring a critical $2.25 million line item.  We were surprised and disappointed to learn that it may be slated for the chopping block again this year.

Rest assured, we will be working diligently with the Corbett Administration and members of the House and Senate to restore funding for the Heritage Areas Program, which creates jobs and brings business to the region, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenues.

As always, we appreciate your support on this and many other important issues.

Additionally, as the gubernatorial primaries approach, the Coalition will be reaching out to the candidates to educate them on the importance of funding to protect our natural resources, preserve our farmland, support our parks and trails and  safeguard our historic treasures.

If you have any questions you think we should ask, please let me know before the end of the month.

Also please feel free to contact me if you would like more information about the ongoing work of the Coalition or would like to make a donation.

And don’t forget to stay connected to the Coalition through Facebook and Twitter!

Sincerely,

Andrew Heath

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