We will be making a mistake if future open space results only as a residual of current development. The green infra-structure of open space should be planned for and ﬁnanced in development and growth, just as the Federal Highway Commission and PennDOT plan among municipalities for the gray infrastructure of highways, and as local governments plan for utilities, roads, schools, and other public assets.
Citizens and leaders must make an effort to better under-stand the many benefits of open space, the benefits of municipalities working together to plan for and acquire open space, and the possibilities of taxpayers using bond issues and referenda to ensure nonregulatory open space conservation. Better-informed people would be able to rationalize the trade-off between open space conservation and development, intrusion into private property rights by government for planning and zoning, and the expenditure of both public tax dollars and private donations for open space conservation.
The understanding and support of citizens and leaders for open space is important, especially given the force and velocity of development in this now-attractive area and the uncertain status of open space that provides us, and the people who will follow, with a consistent sense of this place and the comfort of living here.
Sample News Releases
GREENSBURG TREE COMMISSION—Date
CONTACT: JOHN MAPLE, TREE COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON, 000-8564
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY
Trees are important to (name of municipality). Without them, (name of municipality) would not be as attractive, healthy, or happy. Please join the (name of commission or organization) for our Arbor Day Celebration at (date, time, location). Also, celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your yard or at a school. This is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love, and a commitment to natural resources in (name of municipality) and in Pennsylvania.
It has been more than 100 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day in then-treeless Nebraska. Morton called for the planting of trees and shrubs to prevent the loss of valuable, newly cultivated soil from this windy prairie. As a reporter for the Nebraska City News, he glorified the many virtues of tree planting to his readers and persuaded landowners to plant trees for the good of people now and in the future. Arbor Day was named a legal holiday in Nebraska and April 22, Morton’s birthday, was selected as the date for its permanent observance. Morton was proud of the success of Arbor Day and noted, “Other holidays repose upon the past. Arbor Day proposes for the future.”