3 Big States Lead Record Vote for Land Conservation

A record $13 billion for land conservation was approved by voters across America on Election Day, including large statewide measures in Florida, New Jersey, and California.

“Voters in Florida, New Jersey, and California all approved measures which will mean billions of dollars will be spent to preserve the special places which are important to them and their families,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, which works with The Action Fund to create public funding for parks and open space. “And that approval came from voters regardless of their party affiliation.”

Measures passed on Tuesday included these supported by The Trust for Public Land Action Fund:

Florida. An amendment to the state constitution, passed with 75 percent of the vote, will dedicate $18 billion over the next 20 years to conserving, restoring, and managing land and water. Half that amount is set aside for new land conservation, including in the Everglades. It was the largest land conservation measure ever approved in a single state.

New Jersey. In a campaign sponsored by The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, voters approved a constitutional amendment by 65-35% that will permanently dedicate a portion of the existing corporate business tax to open space, farmland, and historic preservation. The measure is expected to provide $2.15 billion over the next 20 years.

California. Voters passed, 67-33%, a $7.5 billion water bond that includes $1.5 billion for land conservation. It is the first new state funding dedicated to land conservation since 2006.

Portland, OR. A $68 million bond measure to repair and maintain the city’s parks won 72-28. The Trust for Public Land Action Fund sponsored the Fix Our Parks campaign.

Bernalillo County, NM. Voters in this county, which includes Albuquerque, gave 72-28% approval to a 15-year property tax for open space and natural areas.

New Bedford, MA. The sixth largest city in Massachusetts adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA), along with the towns of Arlington and Boxborough. Tuesday’s vote brought the total of Massachusetts communities creating dedicated CPA funding for land conservation, recreation, historic preservation and affordable housing to 158, out of a total of 351.