Pittsburgh, Pa. – June 10, 2022 – Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to make a game-changing investment in public lands and clean water. But your help is needed to make it happen!
For more than two decades, the Growing Greener Program has been one of Pennsylvania’s most important and dependable sources of investment in conservation. Established in 1999, Growing Greener provides funds to communities and non-profit organizations to help restore and protect local watersheds, clean up abandoned mines, preserve and acquire farmlands and open spaces, lessen non-point source pollution from entering waterways, and provide green infrastructure in urban neighborhoods.
There’s a very important source of funding being proposed right now in the Pennsylvania General Assembly called Growing Greener III. It would invest $500 million into:
- trails, greenways and parks
- clean water initiatives
- upgrades in state parks and forests
- conservation of open space and farmland
- projects to reduce flooding
The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy relies heavily on this funding source.
With a significant state budget surplus, as well as nearly $2 billion in American Rescue Plan funding that must be spent, state policymakers have proposed boosting the Growing Greener program with as much as $500 million.
From nature-based solutions that prevent flooding and stream degradation (including installation of riparian forest buffers, passive AMD treatment, and wetland restoration) to rehabilitation of parks and trails and protection of wildlife habitat that underpin a large part of the Commonwealth’s tourism and outdoor recreation economies, American Rescue Plan dollars can make a real difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians. Our various natural infrastructure needs are immense but the economic benefits of addressing them is huge.
American Rescue Plan dollars applied to natural infrastructure would support myriad small businesses and good-paying jobs. Investing in Pennsylvania’s environment also makes strong fiscal sense. It is well established that environmental investments generate generous rates of return—whether the measure is job creation and economic activity, avoided costs (such as public health and flooding), net tax revenues or the well-being of people and communities.
There is bipartisan support to use federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for these local investments. But for Growing Greener III legislation to pass, state elected officials need to know that you care about green spaces, clean water and wildlife! This is a tremendous opportunity to make a game-changing investment in local public lands and clean water.
It is important to contact them immediately, as the final decision is expected any day now.
Your voice really does make a difference! As soon as possible, please:
- Call or email your representative and senator. Find your legislators at this link.
- Explain that you value and need green spaces and clean water.
- Ask them to support Growing Greener III and to urge the House/Senate to support it, too.
- Share this message with family and friends who care about nature and urge them to call or email, too.
Thank you so much for taking two minutes to help Pennsylvania “Grow Greener” now and for future generations of humans and wildlife!
You can look up your elected officials in Harrisburg here. Send a message to both your Pennsylvania House representative and Pennsylvania Senator today!
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and assessed thousands of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces and thousands of trees that are planted with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers. The work of the Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.
Director of Communications
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
412-586-2358 – work