Forever Endorsements Growing

by Tom Palmer

Polk Forever’s efforts to secure funding for renewed environmental lands funding in the Nov. 8 election continues to draw support locally and from around the state.

So far all of the news is positive.

That is a contrast to the 1994 referendum, when land preservation advocates faced organized opposition.

One of the latest endorsements comes from 1000 Friends of Florida, a statewide organization dedicated to supporting sustainable community planning.

“Preserving critical natural lands in Polk County would protect the county’s water supply, wildlife, natural beauty and quality of life,” the endorsement said, adding  “ It would fortify Polk’s reputation among residents, visitors and employers as a great place to live, work, study and play.”

Earlier statewide endorsements have come from Sierra Club Florida, Audubon Florida, the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Florida Ornithological Society.

In its letter endorsing the Nov. 8 referendum, FOS President Ann Paul said the Polk Forever initiative “will provide essential funding to accomplish goals that protect wildlife, including birds, in Polk County” in line with the organization’s previous vote to support the Florida Wildlife Corridor program.

In addition to statewide endorsements, the Polk Forever referendum has been endorsed by a number of local and regional organizations.

They include Lakes Education/Action Drive, Green Horizon Land Trust, Friends of the Polk County   Parks Foundation, Lake Region Audubon, the Tampa Bay Conservancy and Audubon of Southwest Florida.

More endorsements are being sought and are expected between now and the Nov. 8 election.

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