There is an effort afoot to revive Growing Greener in Pennsylvania. What is Growing Greener 3.0 and why is it important to all citizens of our great commonwealth? This blog post will fill you in on some of the basic details. To learn more, visit http://pagrowinggreener.org/growing-greener-iii.
What is Growing Greener III?
Growing Greener (GG) is a funding mechanism of the state legislature that has three goals:
- conserve land and water resources
- restore damaged waterways and land
- create prosperous and sustainable communities
GG I and II did this from tipping fees on landfills and a voter-approved bond. But the funds from GG I have been diverted to pay the debt service on the GG II bonds, so little remains to pay for conservation and restoration work across the commonwealth. A new mechanism is needed – that’s where GG III comes in.
What will Growing Greener III Do Specifically?
GG III could accomplish so much for the health of our communities and the economy.
Nearly 26,000 miles of our streams and rivers are polluted and considered “impaired” – GG III could help restore these to swimmable, fishable quality.
There is a backlog of 1,500 farms that could be preserved through easements. The cost of these is estimated at $458 million. By preserving these farms we can encourage the next generation of farmers to stay on the land and provide agricultural resources to the rest of us.
There are more acres of abandoned mine lands in PA than any other state. The cost to clean up all these sites is estimated at as much as $15 billion – yes, with a B!
- There’s quick a backlog of maintenance projects at parks across the state. GG III could help bring these parks back to life and create programs to encourage more young people to get outside.
That is just a small sampling of the need that exists and how GG III could help take care of these problems.
What Can You Do?
Growing Greener III is not a done deal. Our legislators need to hear from their constituents that you care about clean water, opportunities to recreate, and prosperous communities. This is especially important due to the tight state budget right now. Don’t let our environment suffer from legislative squabbling. Send them an email or give them a call and let them know you would like them to support Growing Greener II.
To find the contact information for your representative and senator, visit http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator.