For Immediate Release: October 21, 2011
Eight More Organizations and Municipalities Join Coalition in Calling for Growing Greener Funding
Chorus to Restore Funding for Key State Environmental, Conservation and Recreation Program Grows Louder
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today announced that eight more organizations and municipalities have joined in supporting the effort to restore state funding for Growing Greener.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Save Our Streams PA, Donegal Trout Unlimited in Lancaster County and Lackawanna Valley Trout Unlimited have signed the Coalition’s Statement of Support, which calls for the establishment of a dedicated and sustainable source of revenue to support the renewal of Growing Greener.
In addition, the Tioga County Greenway Committee adopted a resolution in support of Growing Greener. Together, these groups join nearly 250 other organizations and groups that have announced their support for renewing Growing Greener.
The following municipalities also adopted resolutions this week:
- Millersburg Borough, Dauphin County
- New Hope Borough, Bucks County
- Upper Pottsgrove, Montgomery County
With these, 117 government entities, including 25 counties, representing more than 6.5 million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions calling on the Governor and legislature to restore and increase funding for Growing Greener.
Earlier this week, Centre County Commissioners voted to support Growing Greener.
“Centre County cannot afford to let Growing Greener funds run dry,” said Jon Eich, chairman of the Centre County Board of Commissioners. “County residents have benefited from Growing Greener investments in our parks, our streams and waterways, and our farmland and open spaces. We need to continue these investments so we can preserve our heritage, our quality of life and our economy.”
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. 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 350 organizations and government entities. For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.