THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND SUPPORTS BALLOT MEASURES TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR PARKS AND OPEN SPACE

The organization is working on eighteen ballot measures across ten states

October 18, 2018
San Francisco, CA

On November 6, voters across the country will have the chance to invest in parks and open spaces that will serve their families and communities far into the future. The Trust for Public Land is working alongside state and local advocates to pass 18 ballot measures this election season.

Since 1996, The Trust for Public Land has helped everyday advocates raise more than $72 billion in public funds for everything from land protection for parks, to wildlife habitat, farmland, and other natural areas. 81% of the ballot measures The Trust for Public Land supports have passed over the last 22 years.

The Trust for Public Land is working on the following ballot measures:

  • Arizona

    • Proposition 407: Parks and Connections Bond 2018

      • Location: Tucson
      • Description: This November the voters of Tucson, Arizona have an opportunity to invest $225 million into their parks and recreation system.  The City of Tucson is asking voters to consider the bonds for capital improvements.  The funds will be dedicated to improving City parks amenities -- including playgrounds, sports fields, pools, splash pads, and recreation centers -- as well connections, such as pedestrian and bicycle pathways and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.  The measure will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as Proposition 407.
  • California
    • Approval of Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Tax Ordinance

      • Location: Fresno
      • Description: The City of Fresno is asking voters to consider approving over $1.1 billion to update and improve Fresno's current parks, trails and facilities, make parks cleaner and safer, and create parks in neighborhoods that lack access to them.  The measure will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as Measure P and will need a supermajority for approval.  The measure was place on the ballot via citizen initiative.  The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore ranks Fresno 94th out of the top 100 cities in the country for parks access. 
    • Los Angeles Region’s Public Health and Safety, Clean Water Program
      • Location: Los Angeles
      • Description: Los Angeles County is asking voters to consider approving over $300 million annually to provide local, dedicated funding to increase local water supply, improve water quality, and protect public health.  The measure will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as Measure W and needs a supermajority for approval. The measure will improve and protect water quality; capture rain/stormwater to increase safe drinking water supplies and prepare for future drought; and protect public health and marine life by reducing pollution, trash, toxins/plastics entering Los Angeles County waterways, bays, and beaches.

 

  • Measure M

    • Location: Sonoma County
    • Description: Sonoma County is asking voters to consider approving over $115 million to improve and protect Sonoma County’s regional and neighborhood parks.  Funding will be provided from a 10-year 1/8th cent sales tax increase for regional parks.
  • Colorado

    • Ballot Issue 1A: Strengthening Forest Health, Conserving and Supporting Working Ranches and Farms and Rural Landscapes and Managing the Impacts of Growth

      • Location: Chaffee County
      • Description: Chaffee County is asking voters to consider Ballot Issue 1A to enact a new ¼-cent sales tax, which would raise over $20 million to  strengthen forest health to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires that threaten our communities, water supplies and economy; conserve and support our working ranches, farms and rural landscapes, protecting water quality, water quantity and wildlife habitat; help manage the impacts of growth and increased recreation to protect our trails, campsites and scenic rivers; and conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and protect it from damaging wildfire and post-fire flooding.
    • Yes on 2A: Healthy Parks and Rivers for Everyone
      • Location: City and County of Denver
      • Description: The measure 2Awould dedicate 0.25 percent sales and use tax for Denver’s parks, trails, and open space and is projected to raise nearly $46 million in its first year.The parks, trails, and recreation opportunities in Denver improve the quality of life and are an important investment in our future. We know the longer Denver wait to restore and maintain our parks, trails, and open space, the more it will cost in the long-run. Investing today can help avoid more costly problems in the future and leverage millions of dollars in matching funds. Every Front Range county but Denver has a local dedicated fund for parks, trails, and natural areas. Denver parks and trails provide affordable recreation close to home for everyone. Denver’s population is soaring, with over 850,000 people expected to live in Denver within twenty years.  This fund will allow Denver to plan better for growth in the future and preserve its high good quality of life.

 

  • Connecticut

    • Question #2

      • Location: Statewide
      • Description: Connecticut’s public parks and forests are a key driver in the state’s economy, attracting eight million visitors every year and generating over $1 billion in state revenue, while supporting nearly 70,000 outdoor recreation jobs.  Question #2 will amend the Connecticut State Constitution to protect state-owned farms, forests, parks, trails, and wildlife management areas from being converted, sold or given away without first receiving a public hearing and a two-thirds vote from the state legislature.  Improving accountability and transparency in government and protecting community assets is critical to support the state’s economy and quality of life for future generations.
  • Florida
    • Cape Coral General Obligation Bonds for Parks, Wildlife Habitat and Shoreline Protection and Recreational Facilities

      • Location: City of Cape Coral, FL
      • Description: Cape Coral is on a peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico.  As a 70’s-era master planned community, there is a series of canals around the city, but relatively few parks and open spaces.   The city’s goal is to greatly enhance and improve its parks, natural areas, recreational and athletic facilities, trails, boat ramps, piers, swimming and fishing facilities, and create wildlife habitat and shoreline protection.   The measure, if approved, will enable the City of Cape Coral to issue $60 million in general obligation bonds.
    • Doral Parks for Tomorrow: General Obligation Bonds Referendum for parks, Natural Areas, and Recreation Facilities
      • Location: City of Doral, FL
      • Description: Doral is a beautiful, active, family-friendly city in the heart of Miami-Dade County. With the goal of improving public health, protecting natural areas, and improving quality of life, the Parks for Tomorrow referendum will provide new trails, green spaces, sports fields, playgrounds, an aquatic facility, and cultural amenities.  There would be five miles of new walking trails throughout the community, as well as improvement the 82-acre Doral Central Park and several other existing parks.  The $150 million bonds have strict accountability measures, including an independent annual audit of spending and a citizen oversight committee.  

 

  • Turnbull Creek Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas Protection Bonds

    • Location: City of New Smyrna Beach, FL
    • Description: New Smyrna Beach is a jewel of a city located on the Atlantic Ocean.  Heavy growth pressures from new development are creating deep concerns regarding water quality and overall quality of life.   The bond would fund the conservation of property currently slated for more residential development that would be purchased and opened as a nature park.   Protection of land along Turnbull Creek will protect water quality by preventing pollution in Turnbull Creek and Bay, Spruce Creek, the Indian River, and the Atlantic Ocean as well as preserve wildlife habitat and natural areas from development.  Voters will be asked to approve a $15 general obligation bond with full public disclosure of all spending.

 

  • Sarasota County Legacy Trail Extension with Enhanced Safety and Connections General Obligation Bonds

    • Location: Sarasota County
    • Description: The existing Legacy Trail runs 10.6 miles from Venice, Florida to Culverhouse Nature Park south of Sarasota.  Acquired by the Trust for Public Land and conveyed to the County in 2004, The Legacy Trail hosts over 220,000 visitors each year.   Legacy Trail users enjoy walking, biking, bird watching, fishing, and other activities that in this digital age are so important for our health and to get our children and grandchildren out in nature.    The Legacy Trail Extension Referendum, if approved by voters on November 6, will enable connecting the existing trail north to downtown Sarasota’s Payne Park, a length of about 8 miles.   There will be pedestrian overpasses at two seven-lane roads, Clark and Bee Ridge; these will greatly improve safety for all users, and will be fully accessible for those with disabilities.   Sarasota is a very beautiful community that draws people outdoors all year long; unfortunately this means it is in the top ten areas in the United States for bicycle and pedestrian deaths.  Having a separate trail that connects the county’s three largest cities, Sarasota, Venice, and North Port, will mean fewer accidents on the road.   The $65 million bond will have annual independent audits published on the County’s website.  The county will match bond funds with state and federal grants.
  • Georgia

    • Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act

      • Location: Georgia (statewide)
      • Description: The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act will protect Georgia's water, land, and wildlife for future generations—without raising taxes. A state constitutional amendment, the Stewardship Amendment dedicates a portion of the existing sales and use tax on outdoor sporting goods to land conservation and parks for ten years. Funding from the Stewardship Amendment would protect forests, wildlife habitat, and land critical to clean drinking water. Funding would also be used to acquire and improve parks and trails in communities throughout the state—as well as to protect and maintain state parks and wildlife areas. Strict accountability provisions, including full public disclosure of all expenditures, will ensure funds are properly spent.
  • Massachusetts
    • Community Preservation Act

      • Location: Plainville, MA
      • Description: Plainville, a small community in Southeastern Massachusetts, will be voting to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) program.  In Plainville, the CPA proposal is to add a 1 percent property tax surcharge to fund the local CPA account, with the funds being restricted to open space, recreation, historic preservation and affordable housing.  CPA is estimated to annually raise $165,000 from the local surcharge plus state matching funds from the CPA Trust Fund.  CPA was defeated once before in Plainville, back in 2001.
    • Community Preservation Act
      • Location: Berlin, MA
      • Description: Voters in the central Massachusetts town of Berlin will be asked to adopt the state’s popular Community Preservation Act (CPA) program, which is already in place in 173 other Massachusetts cities and towns.  Over $2 billion has been raised statewide under CPA for open space protection, recreation, historic preservation, and affordable housing.  In Berlin, the program would be funded by a 3 percent local property tax surcharge which is expected to raise $250,000 annually.  The town will also receive matching funds from the state’s CPA Trust Fund.  CPA was defeated previously at the ballot box twice in Berlin, in 2001 and 2006.

 

  • Minnesota

    • Brooklyn Park Natural Resource Protection and Park Bond

      • Location: City of Brooklyn Park
      • Description: Brooklyn Park’s population is booming—and residents are calling for more parks and better trails to keep pace. In November, voters will have the chance to approve a $26 million bond to fund the park investments the city needs to stay green and healthy as it grows. If it passes, the measure will generate funds to protect land and water, improve large neighborhood parks and recreational facilities, develop the trail network, and build and maintain special use facilities for seniors and families.

 

  • Montana

    • Vote Yes for Open Space, Rivers, and Farmlands

      • Location: City and County of Missoula
      • Description: There are two measures on the ballot Missoula: countywide, voters will decide on a $15 million bond that will build upon the work of a now-depleted 2006 bond; city voters will also consider an annual $500,000 stewardship levy. Missoula County residents have a tradition of protecting and caring for their open space, water and farmland.  Missoula values access to waterways and open lands.  Its communities are shaped by their shared values related to conservation, as well as by the recreational and economic opportunities provided by publicly accessible open space.  Funds from a 2006 open space bond are nearly gone and there is still critical conservation work to do to protect land, water, and family farms for future generations. Passing a renewed county open space bond and a city stewardship levy ensures that Missoula can maintain its commitment to open space conservation as our community continues to grow into the future.

 

 

  • South Carolina

    •  General Obligation Bonds, not to Exceed $25,000,000 for Land Preservation to Protect Natural Land, Farmland, and Water Quality

      • Location: Beaufort County
      • Description: The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands program of has completed 112 land protection projects, preserving over 23,900 acres of land for conservation, parks, buffers, and scenic vistas. Since 1998, Beaufort County voters have approved four successive bond referendums to fund the Rural and Critical Lands program. Voters overwhelmingly supported the passage of these bonds with an average of 71 percent approval rate, approving $135 million for conservation. This November, Beaufort County voters will vote on whether to extend that funding with a $25 million bond to protect clean water, beaches, creeks and rivers, wildlife habitat, and coasts.

 

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.

 

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