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Op-Ed: PA Communities Should Invest ARP Funds in Conservation, Parks & Recreation, Etc.

Op-Ed: PA Communities Should Invest ARP Funds in Conservation, Parks & Recreation, Etc. | Newtown News of Interest |

The American Rescue Plan has provided Pennsylvania counties, cities, boroughs and townships with $6.15 billion in federal funding, with half disbursed among nearly every state municipality this summer and the second half following next year. This funding offers an unprecedented opportunity for local government leaders to invest in community projects that improve Pennsylvanians’ lives.

Localities have wide latitude in how they disburse ARP funds. But does this flexibility apply to land conservation, waterway restoration, and recreation projects?


To find out, WeConservePA, a charitable conservation organization, sought analysis from attorneys experienced with local government and regulatory issues. As the legal analysis confirmed, many conservation-related projects — investments in parks and other public outdoor recreation spaces, natural infrastructure to prevent pollution and manage stormwater, and land and easement acquisitions in support of these efforts — are among the eligible expenses.

These allowable investments could improve Pennsylvania communities for years, decades, and — in some cases — even centuries. Rather than providing a temporary good, most conservation-related investments deliver enduring public benefits.

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Newtown News of Interest
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