PA Governor Named Conservationist of the Year

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge received the Conservationist of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation and Audubon Pennsylvania. At the Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet, the associations cited many Ridge Administration environmental achievements, including the $650 million "Growing Greener" program -- the state's largest-ever environmental investment; the "Growing Smarter" land-use reforms; and the Land Recycling Program.

"Audubon Pennsylvania is pleased to join in the recognition of Gov. Tom Ridge as Pennsylvania's 2001 Conservationist of the Year," said Cindy Adams Dunn, Executive Director of Audubon Pennsylvania. "His `Growing Greener' initiative has been the catalyst for myriad locally based conservation efforts to clean up abandoned mineland drainage, restore streams, create greenways, upgrade parks and conserve land. Ridge's `Growing Smarter' land-use initiative provides local governments with important tools to plan wisely and combat sprawl. Almost as importantly, the Governor's public recognition of the sprawl issue has galvanized public and legislative response to the issue.

His nationally recognized brownfields program provides an important tool in the battle against sprawl by allowing the redevelopment of previously impacted sites."

The award presentation comes less than a week since Gov. Ridge announced more than $30 million in grants for 340 recreation and conservation projects in 63 counties statewide -- to protect open space; to support community parks and recreation; to enhance greenways; and to convert rails-to-trails.


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