Open Letter to
Members of the General Assembly and Governor Wolf

June 8, 2020

93% of Pennsylvanians agree—68% strongly—that “we have a moral obligation to take care of our environment.” Whether the focus is protecting waterways, wildlife and natural areas conservation, the importance of parks and open spaces, or preserving productive farms, an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians find these matters to be “very important.”

Support crosses party lines; for example, “protecting PA’s drinking water” is found to be very important by 75% of Republicans, 84% of Independents, and 92% of Democrats.

90% of likely voters agree that “protecting water quality and land in Pennsylvania is critical to keeping the state’s economy strong, even in a time of COVID”—67% feeling strongly about this.

COVID has triggered a boom in outdoor recreation that is clearly continuing beyond the peak of the crisis. This is borne out in polling that finds 91% of the public agreeing—60% strongly—that “it is more important than ever in a time of COVID to have parks, preserves, and other public spaces where we can safely enjoy the outdoors.”

Pennsylvanians care deeply about our natural resources. The American Rescue Plan provides a unique opportunity to boost investments in projects that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support, can be implemented now, and will continue to deliver value for decades to come. From nature-based solutions that prevent flooding and stream degradation (for example, riparian forest buffers on farms and wetland restoration), to rehabilitation of the parks and trails that underpin a large part of the Commonwealth’s tourism and outdoor recreation economies, American Rescue Plan dollars can make a huge difference.

The Growing Greener Coalition urges the General Assembly and Governor to direct at least $500 million (7%) of state government’s share of Rescue money to these investments.

[1] TargetSmart survey of 1,332 likely PA voters conducted September 20-27, 2020; credibility interval of +/- 3.0%

For more information, please reach out to the people and organizations of the Coalition including but not limited to:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Shannon Gority, PA Executive Director
[email protected]

Ducks Unlimited
Nikki Ghorpade, Government Affairs Representative
[email protected]

Conservation Voters of PA
Joshua McNeil, Executive Director
[email protected]

Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
John Dawes, Executive Director
[email protected]

Lancaster Farmland Trust
Jeffrey Swinehart, Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]

Natural Lands
Oliver? P. Bass, President
[email protected]

Jacquelyn Bonomo, President & CEO
[email protected]

Pennsylvania Environmental Council
John Walliser, Senior Vice President
[email protected]

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Marci Mowery, President
[email protected]

Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society
Tim Herd, CEO
[email protected]

Sierra Club PA Chapter
Jen Quinn, Legislative and Political Director
[email protected]

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Tom Sexton, Northeast Regional Director
[email protected]

The Conservation Fund
Kyle D. Shenk, Northeast Region Director
[email protected]

The Nature Conservancy, PA/DE Chapter
Ronald L. Ramsey, Senior Policy Advisor
[email protected]

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Derek Eberly, Pennsylvania Field Organizer
[email protected]

 The Trust for Public Land
Owen Franklin, PA State Director
[email protected]

Trout Unlimited
Jennifer Orr-Greene, Eastern Policy Director
[email protected]

Andrew M. Loza, Executive Director
[email protected]

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Cynthia Carrow, Vice President
[email protected]