The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides $2.55 billion statewide ($1.56 billion to general government / $995 million to schools) to Connecticut towns and cities. Some of these dollars will backfill lost tax revenue, but in many municipalities money will be available for new community investments. Governments have until 12/31/2024 to dedicate ARPA money and 12/31/2026 to spend it all. Find more info here
This may be your opportunity to fund local conservation projects!
With discussions underway in most communities as to how these federal dollars will be spent, now is the time to reach out to your municipal officials to make sure that local land conservation, park, and trail projects are included in these investments.
Communities have compelling cases for prioritizing local government dollars for conservation-related projects, including:
- Investment in parks, greenspaces, and other public outdoor recreation spaces is responsive to the needs of disproportionately impacted communities (e.g., by promoting healthier living environments and outdoor recreation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19); and
- Funding can respond to increased maintenance needs resulting from the increased use of parks and trails during the pandemic as well as damage from climate-enhanced storms.
Please contact your local government officials ASAP
Contact your municipal officials, ask about plans for using local ARPA allocations, and suggest that a portion of the recovery funding be dedicated to community land conservation projects.
Please let me know if you have any questions and keep me posted as to your efforts.
Amy Blaymore Paterson