For Immediate Release: August 12, 2011
Renew Growing Greener Coalition Calls on Governor to Restore Funding to Protect Natural Resources
(HARRISBURG, PA) As Governor Corbett wraps up his three-day kayak trip through Northeastern Pennsylvania today, the Renew Growing Greener Coalition is calling upon him to restore funding to protect the state’s natural resources.
“We know the Governor appreciates the benefits our natural resources bring to the state,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition. “However, we question why his administration has not voiced support or a plan to renew funding for their protection. We hope that the Governor will work with the Legislature to restore Growing Greener funding so that those natural resources remain for future generations to enjoy.”
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, and restoring over 16,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.
Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed billions of dollars to the Pennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.
Yet despite its success, the availability of Growing Greener funding is 80 percent lower in this year’s budget.
“As Governor Corbett pointed out, our natural resources are good for our tourism industry and are essential to our local and statewide economies,” said Heath. “Given the significant economic benefits, the state should be investing in our natural resources, not taking money away.”
To date, more than 225 organizations and groups have announced their support for renewing Growing Greener. In addition, at least 85 Pennsylvania municipalities and 22 counties, representing more than 5 million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions urging the Governor and Legislature to renew Growing Greener funding.
About the Renew Growing Greener Coalition
The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the Commonwealth’s largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations representing over 300 organizations and government entities. For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.