The PA Growing Greener Coalition Wednesday applauded the Commonwealth Finance Authority’s recent approval of nearly $17 million in environmental grants and called for renewed investment in the state’s Growing Greener program.
The grants support 118 Act 13 projects funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund for statewide initiatives that include abandoned mine drainage abatement; sewage treatment; greenways, trails and recreation; baseline water quality data; watershed restoration; and flood control.
“The Coalition worked hard to ensure Act 13 included funding for conservation, recreation, and preservation projects and is pleased that the CFA is investing in projects to keep our drinking water clean, protect our open spaces, and ensure access to parks and other recreational opportunities,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Growing Greener Coalition. “However, the need for further investment is greater than ever.”
“We urge the Governor and the General Assembly to work together to identify a bipartisan approach to provide adequate funding for a Growing Greener III program to support conservation, recreation, and preservation projects.”
Funding for the Growing Greener program has decreased from an estimated average of $200 million in the mid-2000s to approximately $57 million this year. This is a 75 percent cut.
Established in 1999, the Growing Greener program continues to have widespread, bipartisan public support.
A 2015 Penn State poll found that 90.7 percent of Pennsylvanians surveyed would support increasing state funds to conserve and protect open space, clean water, natural areas, wildlife habitats, parks, historic sites, forests, and farms.The PA Growing Greener Coalition is the largest coalition of conservation, recreation, and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Coalition.