Support Growing Greener III
Natural Lands supports Growing Greener III, legislative action that would boost Pennsylvania’s Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener) by $450 million or more with funds from the American Rescue Plan. This one-time boost could make possible and accelerate new conservation, restoration, and recreation projects by nonprofits and local governments across the state. Investment in nature protects our economic, cultural, and environmental resources
In February, Governor Wolf announced his plan for spending $1.7 billion in state American Rescue Plan funds to address various needs of Pennsylvanians. Most notable for us was his call to inject $450 million into a Growing Greener III. This call for investment dovetails with Republican-led initiatives in both the PA Senate and House. This is true, bi-partisan support.
This investment into the Growing Greener Fund will make great projects happen in our community now, with benefits that will extend for generations to come. We have the unique opportunity to protect water quality, reduce flood damage, and restore streams, wetlands, and other wildlife habitat. We can boost outdoor recreational opportunities and the vibrant economy that they create.
These types of projects represent one-time investments; they will not require state money for operations going forward. We have already seen many other states—red (Florida, Indiana, etc.) and blue (Michigan, California, etc.)—use American Rescue Plan monies to invest in their states’ water and land resources.
Investing in Pennsylvania’s environment makes strong fiscal sense. It is well established that state environmental investments provide tremendous 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 wellbeing of people and communities.
Our own neighbors want this type of investment in their communities. In the fall of 2020, a poll commissioned by Conservation Voters of PA and the Growing Greener Coalition showed that nearly 90 percent of voters support funding for Pennsylvania’s land, water, and wildlife, even during the economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A dedicated funding mechanism like Growing Greener III could help us capitalize on this opportunity to make lasting change. We need to let our elected officials know this investment matters. If it matters to you, we urge you to show your support by calling or email both your state senator and your state representative:
- Ask them to support Growing Greener 3
- Remind them that these funds will invest in issues important to you and your community (ensuring clean water, protecting open space from development, reducing the impacts of flooding, public access to the parks, preserves and the outdoors)
- Encourage them to talk to their fellow legislators and legislative leaders about these needs and opportunity to do something now.
Together, we can make a difference.