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Letter to the editor: Leaving money on the table

The Lehigh River valley and Carbon County offer so much. We are blessed with beautiful natural resources and opportunities for fishing, rafting, bicycling or just enjoying the great outdoors. Yet we often ignore the bounty, which extends to money available for nonprofits.

During the recent NEPA Gives event, I committed to matching $125 in donations for four local nonprofits in Carbon County. I was surprised to learn that only one of the nonprofits, CTC Manufacturing, had enough donations to use the entire $125.

While I’m happy for CTC Manufacturing, which has a fantastic business model that provides quality work with a well-trained, integrated disabled workforce, I was sad for the other nonprofits.

I thought that the matching fund’s offer would encourage folks supporting nonprofits to donate. Well, that didn’t happen. Even though $125 doesn’t seem like a lot of money to miss out on, it’s happening now with millions of dollars! These funds are available to clean up our rivers, streams and watersheds through the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Plus grants program.

Black Creek in Weatherly, a vital tributary to the Lehigh River, is highlighted as a priority for the grant program. Municipalities can also get funding for stormwater assistance so that townships and boroughs can plan and implement practices to reduce stormwater runoff and improve local streams. Growing Greener Plus can even be extended to enhance the areas next to our waterways and rivers for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The grants are available, and we need to take advantage of the funds Growing Greener Plus offers. Our legislators and elected officials are voting now to fund Growing Greener projects, and we need to let them know that we don’t want to leave any money on the table.

Carol Etheridge