“The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is pleased with the passage of House Bill 1950 due to the environmental funding and commends the leadership of the General Assembly, legislators, and the Governor for taking the first step toward renewing funding for the Environmental Stewardship Fund and Growing Greener programs and projects.
“While this bill may not be perfect, it makes critical investments in stormwater management and programs to protect our drinking water, preserve farmland and open space, enhance our recreational opportunities, support our heritage areas, and stimulate our local and regional economies.”
Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Gov. Tom Ridge and later expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell. Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 107,000 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 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, over an 80 percent reduction.
The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations in the Commonwealth, representing nearly 350 organizations and government entities from across the state.
More than 140 government entities, including 32 counties, representing more than seven million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions calling for a dedicated source of funding for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.
For more information on the Coalition website.