In another record election for conservation funding, The Trust for Public Land Action Fund and The Trust for Public Land led or played a significant role in 26 ballot measure campaigns, and won 25 of them, creating over $6 billion in new funding for conservation, parks and restoration. Whether a city or county voted “red” or “blue,” they voted “green” for parks and conservation.
Here are a few election highlights:
California, Proposition 68 California voters gave 57 percent approval to a record $4.1 package of bonds to provide parks, open space, and clean water with a critical focus on mitigating climate impacts using natural climate solutions, while helping California’s communities to become resilient to climate impacts.
Georgia An impressive 3.1 million Georgians voted to support the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship program (83 percent), setting aside a portion of the existing sales tax on outdoor items to create a 10-year, $220 million trust fund. Funding will protect working forests, wildlife habitat, and land critical to clean drinking water; and acquire and improve parks and trails.
Denver, Colorado In Denver, voters approved a dedicated 0.25 percent sales and use tax with 61 percent support, providing $920 million for parks, trails, and open space over 20 years. Funds will also be dedicated for river restoration, and the planting and maintaining of trees in Denver and the Denver Mountains.
Chaffee County, Colorado Chaffee County voters approved a new ¼-cent sales tax, raising over $23 million to strengthen forest health to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, protect fish and wildlife habitat and water supplies; and conserve and support working lands. 52 percent of Chaffee County voters supported the measure.
Beaufort County, South Carolina Beaufort County voters renewed their strong support for the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands program by passing a $25 million bond with 70 percent voter approval. Since 1998, this program has completed 112 land protection projects, preserving over 23,900 acres to protect clean water, beaches, creeks and rivers, wildlife habitat, and coasts.
Sarasota Beach, Florida The existing Legacy Trail runs over 10 miles from Venice, Florida to Culverhouse Nature Park south of Sarasota. Acquired by the Trust for Public Land and conveyed to the County in 2004, the Legacy Trail hosts over 220,000 visitors each year. 71 percent of voters supported a $65 million bond to extend the trail.