State parks desperate for funding

Federal funding used to protect landmarks in the state is being slashed year-by-year.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Parks are major tourist attractions here in Massachusetts, but these spaces could go downhill without proper funding.

Federal funding used to protect landmarks in the state, like Boston Common and even parks in the Pioneer Valley, is being slashed year-by-year. It’s causing some concern.

With more than 20-thousand petition signatures in hand, members from the group Environment Massachusetts are urging Congress to restore funding to protect state parks and beaches. Money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has been drastically cut over the years. It could put places like Hubbard Park in Springfield, and Mount Tom State Reservation in Holyoke in jeopardy.

Despite Governor Patrick signing a two billion dollar environmental bond bill Wednesday, one member believes even more funding is needed. Ben Hellerstein from Environment Massachusetts told 22News, “We need the state funding, we need the federal funding, we need the local funding. We need everybody to be working together to make sure that our parks and our natural heritage are protected for future generations.”

In 2013 the fund got a boost of about $300-million dollars. Congress cut half of that money to use next year.

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