Monthly Archives: March 2017
Today is St. Patrick’s Day and a good day to wear green.
But what about the Lehigh Valley? Are we losing the green of the region forever?
Today is Friday and that means today is also Farmland Preservation Friday.
We see the green of the Lehigh Valley disappearing fast — every day we drive by what used to be familiar fields, now developed with warehouses.
Do you have 10 seconds? We have something REALLY interesting to show you.
Through the magic of technology, please take ten seconds to witness the satellite view of the development of Routes 100 and 78 from 1992 to present.
(A big thank you to our campaign coordinator, Justin Burker for creating this impressive photo cascade.)
Click on the photo, above, or this link: http://arcg.is/2nwuESG
We look at these Google images and are shocked by the time lapse. These images illustrate the urgency of farmland preservation and the importance of mitigating sprawl.
We need more than the “Luck of the Irish” to keep the Lehigh Valley green. We need to work together. Today.
In order to ensure a legacy of “farmland forever,” we need:
at least nine more years of fully funded county farmland preservation easement programs
local municipalities with farmland to pony up some local matching dollars
our representatives in Harrisburg to realize that farmland preservation is important to our region and continue funding it at the state level
local and county funds to be pooled together and leveraged with state dollars for maximum impact
your help to create a culture of appreciating our farms and our farmers that includes spending your consumer dollars at farmers markets (another form of green!)
At RenewLV we know that farmland preservation easements, while critical, are not the entire answer. We recommend a multi-pronged approach to reaching the regional goals of preserving 25% of the land in Lehigh and Northampton Counties for agriculture. In our Farmland Preservation Toolbox, we outline fifteen different strategies. Let’s work together at every level of government for an “all of the above approach.”
If you have invested the 10 seconds in watching the photo cascade, if it upsets you to see how fast the farmland in our region has disappeared, we ask you to invest more. Please invest your time and resources to join with us for our continued campaign for farmland preservation in Lehigh and Northampton Counties this year. Contact your local, county and state elected officials and tell them you want to keep the Lehigh Valley green.
And please make a generous donation to the RenewLV Farmland Preservation Campaign.
With farmland, when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
This St. Patrick’s Day, keep the Lehigh Valley green!
Click here to donate online to RenewLV or send a check made payable to “RenewLV” to 1337 East Fifth Street, Bethlehem PA 18015.
Renew Lehigh Valley is a non-profit organization committed to promoting smart growth and smart governance in order to revitalize our core communities, preserve open space, and establish an economically and environmentally sustainable foundation for our region’s future growth.
“What is “Smart Transportation?” It’s planning for various ways of getting from one place to another (walking, biking, transit, cars, light rail and passenger rail.) If you want to learn more about smart growth and smart transportation Click here.
Here is your chance to help shape the Lehigh Valley’s transportation system into a “Smart Transportation System” and to tell PennDOT about transportation issues that are important to you!
PennDOT has opened a survey that includes interesting opportunities to adjust DOT’s budget and gives you the ability to highlight on a map the specific transportation issues that concern you.
Do you want to increase transportation choice to reduce traffic on Route 22? Do you support more planning for walking/biking and transit options to mitigate climate change? In either case, you will want to take this survey.
This is important.
PennDOT will use the collected data from the survey to help develop their Twelve Year Transportation Program. Think of those issues where improvements and a smarter transportation network would make our area better and safer. Then let PennDOT know!
The survey is fun and will take about 15 minutes to take. Check it out at http://survey.talkpatransportation.com/#/Survey
Also join the State Transportation Commission (STC) and PennDOT on March 21, 2017 to share your transportation priorities and concerns. Tune in to hear PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards discuss highlights from the 2017 Transportation Performance Report, and have your questions answered. Register here.
If you look at the Lehigh Valley from Google Earth, you see that time is running out for farmland in the Lehigh Valley.
You see the fields where you played in as a child being developed. You see the patchwork quilt of farmland you drove by just a couple of years ago now covered with warehouses. You sit in truck traffic breathing the fumes of the trucks that bear down on you on all sides. You feel sick to your stomach. Your heart sinks.
Today, you are at the intersection of Routes 100 and 78. Ground zero for warehouses and truck traffic. Where will it be like this in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
At RenewLV we hold the radical position that enough is enough. We see this photo above and see: Life and Death…for the quality of life we’ve held dear in the Lehigh Valley.
RenewLV openly advocates for farmland preservation in the Lehigh Valley. We openly advocate that Lehigh and Northampton Counties and all municipalities in the region make a serious, focused and impactful effort to meet the goal in the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan to preserve 25% of land of Northampton and Lehigh Counties for agriculture. If not now, when?
We say: NOW.
Last year with your help, RenewLV had a strong start in organizing a farmland preservation campaign that resulted in restoring funding to both county easement programs. Thank you to Lehigh and Northampton Counties for hearing us and restoring a total of $2.5 million!
The work does not stop there. We have only just begun.
If we are to save farmland in this region and be as food self-sufficient as we can, we need to keep the drum beat going, and we will need your help to do it.
We must act now. Farmland is a precious and finite resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. We have ten years to meet the 25% goal or live with the changed landscape of the Lehigh Valley forever. Forever is a long time.
We know that government, the private sector and engaged citizenry working together can craft practical solutions to our tough regional challenges.
OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS we need to pull together. We can do this!
What specifically can you do today?
1. Make some noise with your county and local elected officials. Write to them and make sure that every single time you see them, you say:
“Save It – Don’t Pave It.”
“Fund Farmland Preservation.”
“Make Farmland Preservation a priority in the Lehigh Valley.”
2. Educate yourself. Agriculture is an economic driver. Farms and food-based businesses ARE businesses. Smart Growth IS economic development. Got a few minutes and want the disturbing and hopeful statistics? Here’s a video that summarizes the issue with all of the details from last year’s Save It Don’t Pave It event:
3. Come out of the shadows about your support of Farmland Preservation. If you’re not shy, we’ll live stream a video of you saying “Save It – Don’t Pave It,” “Fund Farmland Preservation” or “Make Farmland Preservation a Priority in the Lehigh Valley” to use on social media.
4. Open up your wallet. We know that you support us, but we need you to SUPPORT us. We need your help to keep our Farmland Preservation campaign strong. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for RenewLV’s 2017 Farmland Preservation Campaign by May 1st and we need your help.
Please donate today to our Farmland Preservation campaign by making a generous contribution.
Act now. For every donation over $100 made this week, we will say thank you by delivering a bouquet of forsythia. We want to say thank you. When we stop by, maybe you’ll let us live stream that video of you saying, “Save It – Don’t Pave It.”
RenewLV is the only organization advocating for farmland preservation. The future will only be bright if we make it bright, if we take action today and work together for the outcomes we want.
If Lehigh Valley farmland is precious to you, we need your help for RenewLV’s 2017 Farmland Preservation Campaign. Please join with us to mobilize support for farmland preservation this year by making a donation to RenewLV. The need has never been more urgent than now.