ACTION ALERT: Funding for Maryland’s parks, recreation and farmland preservation is in jeopardy

The time is NOW to help us impact the funding for Program Open Space! Critical budget decisions will be made by the end of the month with key decisions being made on March 20 and 27. The Committees are debating and making decisions NOW.

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Update and Action Alert: Building Momentum, Strengthening Partnerships

Your Partnership is essential to our success. While the steering committee can talk details with key legislators, we rely on you, our network of organizations who care about protecting land with Program Open Space, to go to your members and ask them to contact their legislators. That is how we get it done!

Momentum to support Program Open Space is growing. Check out this great editorial from the Sunday Sun. There have been letters to the editor in papers throughout the state and a a segment on Program Open Space on WYPR – The Environment in Focus.

Action Alert (Please Share)

Funding for our parks, recreation and farmland preservation is in jeopardy.

blueherontree180wMaryland preserves important land all across our state through Program Open Space, funded by the real estate transfer tax. In recent tough economic times these funds were diverted and replaced with bonds. In this year’s proposed budget, however, the direct funding is being diverted and we have only promises that the funds will be restored through bonds in future years.

Now is the time to stand up for land conservation.

Help us protect Program Open Space by asking your legislators to restore Open Space funds in the 2015 budget. The future of Maryland’s precious farms, open spaces, and priceless ecological resources depends on it.

We can’t afford to lose our open space funding – especially not now. We’ve already lost a billion dollars that should have been used for buying land, and we can never get that back. As Maryland continues to grow, we must preserve our special places now for us and for future generations. Once land is lost to development, it can never be recovered.

Contact your state legislators now, and tell them to restore $20 million in bond funding to the 2015 budget as a good faith effort to get back to the required funding formula. We need to return to the full cash funding in accordance with the legally adopted formula. Only by fully funding Program Open Space can we ensure that our special places are still here in the Maryland of tomorrow.

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More information

Partners For Open Space on the web
http://www.partnersforopenspace.org/

Partners For Open Space on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PartnersForOpenSpace

EMAIL: PartnersforOpenSpace@OpenSpaceMD.

Steering Committee Members

1000 Friends of Maryland, Dru Schmidt-Perkins; American Farmland Trust, Jim Baird; Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Elaine Lutz; Chesapeake Conservancy, Joel Dunn (Chair); Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, John Byrd; Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Karla Raettig; Howard County Office of Food Policy, Kelly Dudeck; The Conservation Fund, Bill Crouch; The Nature Conservancy, Steve Bunker; The Trust for Public Land, Kent Whitehead; The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Josh Hastings;
Director, Ann Jones

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