Protect Conservation Funding in Pennsylvania
The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund was originally established in 1993 to create a dedicated and permanent funding source for investments in recreation, parks and conservation in Pennsylvania. Since it was established, the Keystone Fund has become a major funding source for our state’s parks, trails and open spaces. More than 3,000 projects have been completed in Pennsylvania with the Keystone Fund including:
- 850 trail projects for walking, bicycling and other recreation uses
- The development and rehabilitation of more than 2,500 community parks and natural areasThe protection of more than 120,000 acres of open space for parks, greenways and wildlife habitat
- Improvements to facilities in our national award-winning state park and forest systems
Now Governor Tom Corbett is threatening to permanently eliminate the Keystone Fund. This measure is the largest proposed cut to conservation funding in Pennsylvania’s history and will have a lasting and devastating impact on recreational opportunities and conservation. The governor’s proposed 2012-2013 budget diverts the Keystone Fund to general government operations and leaves zero Keystone dollars for statewide recreation, park and conservation projects.
Help protect conservation funding in Pennsylvania! Please contact your legislators before the state budget is finalized and ask them to preserve the Keystone Fund for conservation, recreation and trails.
Keep reading to learn more and Take Action!
Your action is critical to show your legislators that the Keystone Fund is important in their districts. Please contact your legislators in support of the Keystone Fund and help protect conservation funding in Pennsylvania! Share with your elected officials why parks, forests and open spaces are important to you and your local community. Learn more about Keystone Fund projects in your community here.
Write to your State Senator and State Representative in support of the Keystone Fund. Use the text below and tell your elected officials how the Keystone Fund is important to you and your community.
Subject: Save the Keystone Fund
Dear (Senator or Representative _________): Find your State Senator or Representative
Governor Corbett’s proposed 2012-2013 budget will permanently eliminate the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, the major funding source for our state’s parks, trails and open spaces. I oppose the Governor’s proposal to divert conservation funding from recreation, parks and trails to general state operations, which is the largest proposed cut to conservation funding in Pennsylvania’s history.
The Keystone Fund has created real benefits for our local community by generating economic activity, improving recreational opportunities and preserving valuable open spaces. Please support the Keystone Fund during the budget negotiations and protect conservation funding in Pennsylvania
Your Street Address
Your City, State, Zip
Governor Tom Corbett’s proposal to eliminate the Keystone Fund will mean a loss of $30 million for conservation funding for the 2012-2013 budget cycle and far more in the long term, which would be the largest cut to conservation in Pennsylvania history. Here are some more important facts about the Keystone Fund and why it’s worth fighting for:
- The Keystone Fund was established in 1993 with overwhelming bipartisan and general public support: the Senate voted 48-0, the House voted 196-3 and 67% of state voters approved the Keystone Fund.
- Per Act 50 of 1993, 15% of the Realty Transfer Tax is directed to the Keystone Fund to support recreation, parks and conservation. It is contrary to the intent of Act 50 to divert these funds to general government operations.
- Each dollar of Keystone Fund investment typically leverages two dollars or more in direct local investments in parks, trails and green spaces. These investments make Pennsylvania a better place to live and play and help to support a healthy environment and a strong economy.
- The Keystone Fund has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, ranging from recreational purchases and wages to increased values of properties. The trail community has also benefited greatly from the Keystone Fund with the building of hundreds of miles of trails across the state.
- The Keystone Fund primarily supports capital projects with limited funds toward administration or planning. In 2011-12, the Keystone Fund supported $9.5 million in community parks and recreation projects, $3.8 million in land trust projects and $11.4 million in state park and forest projects.
PA Parks & Forests Forever