Charlton Introduces Bill to Expand Growing Greener Program
Measure would invest additional $315 million annually in PA’s natural resources
HARRISBURG – Rep. Alex Charlton (R-Springfield) today introduced legislation to provide a much-needed boost in funding for conservation, preservation and recreation projects across the Commonwealth.
House Bill 503
, also known as Growing Greener III, would provide an additional $315 million annually to invest in conserving and restoring land and water resources; preserving open space; and investing in parks, recreation areas, greenways and trails.
“We only get one environment to leave to future generations, and it is in everyone’s best interest to maintain the health of our air, land and water,” Charlton said. “Even in challenging financial times, preservation now is far more cost effective than restoration later. And in the end, a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand.”
Growing Greener was created in 1999 and enhanced with the passage of Growing Greener II in 2005. Since its inception, the nationally recognized program has funded hundreds of local parks and trail projects; conserved more than 50,000 acres of threatened open space; protected more than 78,000 acres of farmland; repaired more than 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land; and restored hundreds of miles of streams and waterways.
“But there is much more work to be done, and with funding down nearly 75 percent since the mid-2000s, it is time to reinvigorate the Growing Greener program and live up to our constitutional responsibility to protect our environment for current and future generations,” Charlton said.
He called the bill a first step in the process of ensuring the program’s future, noting it helps to identify the need and establish the commitment to support these critical environmental and quality of life projects.
The bill will likely be referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Representative Alexander Charlton
165th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler