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Dear Parks and Water Advocates:

Thank you to all of you who called your State Representative last month in support of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s budget. Your calls made a difference!

Update:
While the amendment to increase the State Parks and Recreation line from $40M to $42M did not pass, a very helpful thing happened. A new “Special Projects” line was created to house local project earmarks. Representative Pignatelli spoke about the importance of doing this and protecting the full $40M base budget in the State Parks & Recreation line.

The Senate Way & Means Committee released their FY19 budget last week. There is again promising news to share. And again it’s time to make a call.

The DCR State Parks and Recreation line is funded at $43.2 million in the Senate Ways & Means budget. This includes $3M for Parkway Street Lighting that has shifted from another line, and funding to modernize DCR’s asset management program. It is good news, as it would provide a $2M increase over the Governor’s proposed budget and would help restore staffing and ongoing cuts in recent years.

But we can do better. And Senators Gobi and Rush have filed an amendment to increase the line to $45.2 million. We deeply appreciate their leadership and it’s time to ask other State Senators to co-sponsor and vote in support of their amendment!

However, the Senate Ways & Means budget does not fund DCR Watershed Management at a level that would restore key positions for flood & drought management, and for invasive species management. Senator Timilty and Eldridge have filed an amendment to fund Watershed Management at $1.1M, as the House budget does.

Action

Please call your State Senator this week and ask them to:

  • Support Amendment #925, filed by Senators Gobi and Rush, to increase DCR State Parks & Recreation (2810-0100) to $45,220,992.
  • Support Amendment #933, filed by Senators Timilty and Eldridge, to increase DCR Watershed Management (2800-0101) to $1,100,000

You can read more about these requests in a handout prepared by the Green Budget Coalition. You can also review DCR's budget needs here.

You can look up your State Senator and phone number at wheredoivotema.com.

This should be a very easy call to your State Senator’s office to simply make the request. And in case it’s helpful, attached are some speaking points from our Lobby Day last fall, and a sheet describing what every $2M increase would do for DCR and our state parks.

The budget debate starts this Monday 5/21. It’s important that your State Senator hears from you!


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About Friends of Alewife Reservation

The Alewife Reservation is a unique natural resource for the communities of Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge and home to hundreds of species, including hawks, coyotes beavers, snapping turtles, wild turkeys and muskrats, the reservation is a unique natural resource for the community.
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Friends of Alewife Reservation works to protect and restore this wild area and the surrounding area for the water quality, native plants, animals and over 90 bird species with paths for walking, running and biking, recreation, and for classroom education and research. We regularly steward and preserve the Reservation area for wildlife and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

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