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"Growing Greener" coalition rallies for increased funding

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"Growing Greener" advocates rallied at the State Capitol today, calling for increased funding.

The Growing Greener program protects water, land and other natural resources across the state.

But now, funding is at an all-time low, down 75 percent from a decade ago.

"We've put a lot of resources into our area which has grown. The trails we have, the open space we have has increased the quality of life, has increased home values, our children have a place to go and play. Our streams are cleaner, We can't stop now," said Sen. Tom Killion.

We can get this done. We can get this done, and with your help we will get this done. Let's pass growing greener three.

Today's rally was to urge the Governor and the General Assembly to act now and increase investment for the program.

The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, which organized the rally, has identified more than $315 million "in annual needs to ensure Pennsylvanians continue to have access to clean water, locally grown food, and parks, trails and other recreational opportunities."

The program has protected over 78,000 acres of farmland, restored 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land and helped reduce flooding and water pollution through 400 watershed protection projects and 100 drinking and wastewater treatment improvements.

The coalition says that there are more improvements to be made across the Commonwealth:

  • Nineteen thousand miles of streams and rivers are impaired: not safe for drinking or recreational use and/or cannot support aquatic life and cannot support agriculture and other industries.
  • Abandoned mines scar nearly 200,000 acres in 43 counties, causing of 5,500 miles of dead streams and rivers.
  • More than 1,800 family farms remain on the waiting list to be protected and preserved.
  • The majority of the state’s 6,000 local parks and more than 11,000 miles of trails need significant upgrades.

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