The mission of the Coalition is to renew Growing Greener!
Growing Greener has transformed Pennsylvania by empowering communities to protect working farms and special places, clean up rivers and streams, create and im prove parks and trails, and revitalize cities and towns. After a decade of success, the funding sources that support Growing Greener are nearly gone.
To ensure that our communities can continue their work, the Commonwealth needs to renew Growing Greener by investing $200 million annually in vital conservation, restoration and community revitalization projects.
Growing Greener – A Legacy of Success
Growing Greener has been hugely successful, directing critical investments to every county in the state. In the past four years alone, Growing Greener has helped people:
- Protect more than 33,700 acres of Pennsylvania’s family farmland;
- Conserve more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space;
- Improve public recreation through 234 community park projects;
- Restore more than 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land.
Polls show strong, consistent public support for programs that improve our quality of life, the economy and the environment throughout Pennsylvania. Growing Greener has enjoyed strong, bipartisan support from voters, legislators, and governors for more than a decade.
The Need to Renew Growing Greener
We are facing critical challenges in our ability to meet our obligations to future generations. The success of Growing Greener is undeniable, but there is much more left to do.
- We are losing three times as much forest, wildlife habitat, farmland and other open spaces to development as we are able to conserve;
- Our rivers and streams—and the communities that depend on them—are threatened by flooding and pollution. The Commonwealth currently has 16,000 miles of streams that are unfit for swimming or fishing;
- Abandoned mines scar 189,000 acres in 44 counties and are the cause of 5,300 miles of dead streams
- Pennsylvania has made good progress in protecting produc tive farmland to safeguard our food supply but more than 2,000 families remain on a waiting list to protect their farms;
- 58% of the state’s population lives in older communities that have an urgent need for investment aimed at improving livability and prosperity: rehabilitating parks, establishing trails, planting trees, managing stormwater, renovating waterfronts, redeveloping brownfields and preserving historic places.
It is essential that Pennsylvania continues to build on past investments in the environmental quality of our state by making conservation and restoration of our environment a top priority for the future. A lot has been accomplished over recent years but there remains much to do to ensure the long term viability of our environment, our communities, and our economy.