Governor Corbett’s proposed 2012-13 budget eliminates all conservation, park, and recreation funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The budget goes on to propose that the cut be made permanent. This proposed budget would divert the funds to general government operations-$30M in 2012 alone-making this proposal the largest cut to conservation in state history. (Keystone funding for libraries and historic preservation would remain intact.)
The Keystone Fund is funded by the dedication of 15% of the Realty Transfer Tax, and the amount available each year is depended on the number of real estate transactions and values each year.
Learn more about the Keystone Fund here and read about the projects it made possible in the Susquehanna Greenway below.
No state funding program has had a more lasting impact on local communities, since these projects help communities help themselves. Each dollar of Keystone Fund investment in communities leverages on average $2.28 in private and local investments. These investments in turn generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, including recreational purchases, wages, and increased property values.
As early as 2012, the Keystone Fund as supported approximately:
The Keystone Fund has been critical in helping to build parks, trails and conserve open space along the Susquehanna Greenway – the state’s largest greenway. Keystone-funded projects include:
Moreover, elimination of the Keystone Fund will be counter-productive for future projects along the Susquehanna Greenway, including:
Please tell your legislator that the protection of the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund must be a top budget priority and remember that it is Pennsylvania’s only funding source that directs money specifically to community park, recreation grants, and land conservation grants. We simply can’t afford to lose it.