The Trust for Public Land Helps Communities Achieve $645 million in New Funding for Parks, Conservation this Election Day
On Tuesday, Voters in Colorado and Iowa declared their support for parks and conservation by passing $645 million in ballot measures supported by The Trust for Public Land. Voters approved ballot measures in Arapahoe County and Colorado Springs, Colorado and Polk County (Des Moines), Iowa.
“Parks and public lands continue to demonstrate their worth to people all across the country, and the election results are clear wins for access to the outdoors,” said Will Abberger, Director of Conservation Finance at The Trust for Public Land. “We’re proud to see voters in Colorado and Iowa support these ballot measures that will help to close the outdoor equity gap and ensure more people have access to the benefits and joys of nature.”
The Trust for Public Land, through its Conservation Finance program and affiliated Trust for Public Land Action Fund, actively helped design and sought voter support for eight park, climate, and land conservation ballot measures on 2021 ballots in six communities. Altogether, The Trust for Public Land worked with local residents on 22 percent of all of the parks and conservation measures on the ballot this year.
With its successful 2021 measures, voter-approved public funds for protection for parks, conservation, climate, and restoration supported by The Trust for Public Land and The Trust for Public Land Action Fund since 1996 surpassed the $84 billion mark.
The measures approved in Colorado this year will mark more than 70 measures supported in Colorado by The Trust for Public Land since 1996 creating over $4.8 billion in conservation funding. The Trust for Public Land received generous funding in support of our Conservation Finance work in Colorado from Kent Thiry and Denise O’Leary.
This year, voters of all political persuasion approved 88 percent of the ballot measures supported by The Trust for Public Land and The Trust for Public Land Action Fund.
The following measures were approved by voters on Tuesday, November 2 and were supported by The Trust for Public Land:
- Arapahoe County – Measure 1A was approved by 76 percent, making permanent the current county sales and use tax of one quarter of one percent, with $28 million annually in revenue, over the next twenty years, dedicated to maintaining parks and wildlife areas, trails, local farms, and water conservation projects.
- Colorado Springs – Measure 2D will allow the city to keep $20 million in extra revenue to create a city and regional wildfire mitigation and prevention program. This measure sets a precedent for local wildfire prevention funding measures in Colorado and was approved by 58 percent.
- Polk County – The $65 million Polk County Water and Land Legacy bond will continue the Polk County Conservation Board’s work to improve water quality, conserve land, and increase public access to Polk County’s rivers and creeks. Polk County voters approved the bond by an astounding 81 percent “Yes” vote. In 2012, with The Trust for Public Land’s support, Polk County voters approved the first the $50 million Water & Land Legacy bond.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.