The South Mountain Partnership has been working to advocate for the allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act at the county level to support conservation and recreation in the region. With your help, we’ve sent out letters to each county commissioner and encouraged and connected local groups to ask for investment in their projects. We are now asking for your help to advocate for the allocation of these same funds at the state level.
WHAT: Governor Wolf on 2/2/2022 called for injecting $450 million into a Growing Greener III using a portion of the state’s American Rescue Plan dollars. The Governor’s call is particularly exciting because it dovetails with Republican initiatives in both the PA Senate and House. Senator Gordner’s SB 525 injects $500 million of American Rescue Plan funds into a Growing Greener III. The bill, which enjoys sponsorship by a bipartisan majority of senators (13 Republicans and 14 Democrats), has received second consideration by the chamber. Representatives Schlegel Culver and Quinn introduced a House version as HB 2020. (source: Growing Greener Collation)
WHY: The state has roughly $2.7 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds remaining. Considering this and that state revenues are exceeding expenses by billions of dollars this fiscal year, there has never been a better opportunity for the state to make conservation investments that will deliver continuing benefits to Pennsylvania in the long term. (source: Growing Greener Collation)
WHEN: You can assist in this effort by reaching out to your state senator and representative today, as well as spreading this message through your network.
Make your voice heard via these steps:
- Gather your thoughts on why this important investment is important to you and your community. A great place to start is Growing Greener’s sample needs and opportunities, as well as sample messages. We’ve made a sample script using Growing Greener’s sample messages below.
- Contact your state senator and representative by clicking here.
- Ask them to support legislative initiatives (often referred to as “Growing Greener III”) to make these investments happen. Further ask them to talk to their fellow legislators and legislative leaders about the needs and opportunity to do something now.
- Connect with your friends, colleagues, and partners to spread this message.
Sample script using Growing Greener Initiatives Talking Points:
Hello, my name is ________ and I am reaching out from __[municipality]__ in __[county]__. I am reaching out to show my support for the legislative initiatives known as “Growing Greener III” (SB 525 and HB 2020) that allocate American Rescue plan dollars for natural infrastructure and recreation.
[_Share personal connection ex/ As a volunteer for my local watershed organization, I see ___]
From nature-based solutions that prevent flooding and stream degradation (including installation of riparian forest buffers, passive AMD treatment, and wetland restoration) to the rehabilitation of parks and trails and protection of wildlife habitat that underpin a large part of the Commonwealth’s tourism and outdoor recreation economies, American Rescue Plan dollars can make a tremendous difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians
The remaining 2.7 billion in American Rescue Plan funds provide a golden opportunity to address these pressing needs for future generations.
The purpose of ARP is to address the economic repercussions the COVID-19 pandemic has had on households, small businesses, nonprofits, and industries such as tourism and hospitality. Environmental Stewardship Fund investments benefit all these groups and communities. Natural infrastructure projects in PA waterways, parks, forests, and open space are the reason why PA’s tourism industry was able to flourish in 2020, despite the COVID emergency. Public use of parks, preserves, and trails has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled across the Commonwealth. As the state reopens, it appears that considerably higher public use of outdoor recreation spaces is a new norm for Pennsylvania. 91% of PA voters believe that is a time of COVID, it is more important than ever to have parks, preserves, and other public spaces where we can safely enjoy the outdoors.
Green infrastructure investments support small businesses and create jobs. They are proven programs for stimulating local economies across the state.
Please support the bipartisan effort “Growing Greener III” to invest to meet these new opportunities today.