Access to nature is essential for our well-being. Strong evidence shows that it can lead to decreased anxiety, better stress management, and even decreased aggression. And our trees absorb harmful CO2, protecting our air quality and helping to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. A healthy tree canopy in riparian areas helps keep our salmon populations healthy, helping to sustain our orcas in turn. Conserving and restoring floodplains helps to reduce flood risk for communities, and maintains healthy, connected ecosystems for wildlife.
King County’s Conservation Futures program includes an “Open Space Equity Cabinet,” which helps see to it that funding distributed through Conservation Futures is available to communities that need it most, seeking to increase recreation access and conservation values for residents in every corner of the county.
The benefits of preserving thriving natural environments are clear, and as King County faces steep population growth, increasing pressure on recreational facilities, and a changing climate, the task is urgent. Leaders from King County cities, businesses, farmers and environmental leaders have identified 65,000 acres of the last, most important lands that need conservation, but they can’t protect these places without proper funding.
By investing now, we can finish the job in a single generation and save $15 billion over what it would take under our current land preservation trajectory – protecting many of these lands before they are lost.
King County voters, vote YES on Prop 1 on your ballot this November!