PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – More than $200 million have been spent since 1999 to protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources, as part of a little-known initiative called “Growing Greener,” which is set to expire at month’s end. Supporters gathered at Yards Brewery in Philadelphia Monday, calling for the program’s renewal.

Deputy mayor Mike DiBernadinis says businesses and educated workers want to live in sustainable cities and states, “They’re the ones that will have a green infrastructure, that provide outdoor recreational amenities, that protects farmland and forest land. The Schuylkill River trail, one of the most popular in the state, was funded by Growing Greener.”

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So were improvements at Wissahickon and Fairmount Parks, as well as redevelopment projects at the Navy Yard.

Studies show money invested in green space generates significant economic value for the area.

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Andrew Heath, head of the renewal campaign, says now is the time for residents to take action, “Growing Greener is really important and we can’t afford to let this program go away.”

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Reported by Mike Dougherty, KYW Newsradio 1060

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