TPL Applauds Gov. Bush’s Florida State Budget

TALLAHASSEE, 5/25/2006 — The Trust for Public Land hailed Governor Jeb Bush for his approval today of the 2006-2007 State budget that includes important funding for the Florida Forever Program and other conservation priorities.

“The combined funding for Florida Forever, Babcock Ranch, and the Everglades may represent the largest amount spent by any state for land conservation in a single year,” stated Greg Chelius, TPL’s Florida State Director. “We applaud the governor for his vision and leadership in supporting Florida Forever for the past eight years. He has permitted Florida to make very important investments in the special places and landscapes of Florida. These are investments that will benefit our children and the generations to follow.”

The budget highlights include:

  • Appropriation of $300 million in General Revenue for the Florida Forever Program, including $66 million for the Florida Communities Trust, which provides grants to communities for land acquisition for parks and related purposes;
  • Provision for a separate $310 million in General Revenue for the State’s purchase of Babcock Ranch, and the passage of an accompanying bill to manage the property;
  • More than $30 million for the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP), which provides grants to communities for the creation and construction of parks, playgrounds, and related facilities; and
  • More than $200 million in additional funding for specific high-priority conservation and environmental projects, including $135 million for the Everglades.

For more information on the achievements of and the challenges before the Florida Forever Program, please

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than 300 sites in Florida — over 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission.