For Immediate Release: October 25, 2011
Renew Growing Greener Coalition Applauds Tioga County for Resolution Calling for Renewal of State Funding to Protect Environment
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today applauded Tioga County for passing a resolution calling for the renewal of 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.
“The chorus of voices calling upon the Governor and legislature to restore funding for Growing Greener continues to grow louder,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition. “County commissioners across the Commonwealth know the benefits Growing Greener has brought to their local communities and are right in sticking up for their constituents by supporting 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. This is more than an 80 percent reduction.
Among other accomplishments, Growing Greener funds have helped Tioga County to:
- Clean up the Babb Creek Watershed by investing nearly $4 million in acid mine reclamation and drainage management programs.
- Preserve more than 700 acres of farmland.
- Protect and restore miles of high-quality stream systems that include some of the most outstanding natural areas and fishing waters in the Commonwealth.
- Protect drinking water quality by investing $5.6 million in improving water treatment systems throughout the county.
- Improve and rehabilitate community and state parks throughout the county.
To date, nearly 250 organizations and groups have announced their support for renewing Growing Greener. In addition, 115 government entities, including 26 counties, representing more than 6.5 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.