Action Alert for Trailside, Observatory and all State Parks

Please take a moment TODAY to make a big difference to the Blue Hills.

This week a legislative committee is creating the state budget by comparing the two budgets created by the House and Senate.  Significant funding for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, the Blue Hill Observatory and the Department of Conservation and Recreation is included in either the House or the Senate versions – but not both!

Please call or write your legislators and ask them to write a letter to the chairs of the Joint Conference Committee in support of the following three items:

  • House Amendment #768 for the Blue Hill Observatory that would provide $100,000 for the Blue Hill Observatory programs and long-term study of climate. This amendment was introduced by Representatives Galvin of Canton, Driscoll of Milton, Smizik of Brookline, Linsky of Natick, Kafka of Stoughton, McMurtry of Dedham, Khan of Newton, Gordon of Bedford and Ayers of Quincy.  Please thank them if you call them!
  • Amendment #858, (section 2, in item 2810-0100) for the Blue Hill Trailside Museum that would provide $250,000 for educational programs and wildlife research.  This amendment was introduced by Senator Walter Timilty and co-sponsored by Senators William Brownsberger, John Keenan, Michael Rush, Julian Cyr, and Patrick O’Connor.  If you call any of these senators, please thank them.
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation funding that is specified in the Senate budget.  (The DCR is the state agency that manages the Blue Hills Reservation and all of our state parks).

Find contact information for your state senator and representativeIf your legislator introduced one of the amendments – (noted above) – please thank them!

After your call to your legislator, please let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing us at info@FriendsoftheBlueHills.

Thank you for taking action to protect the Blue Hills!


Background

The Blue Hill Observatory has a $100,000 line-item in the House budget, but unfortunately, nothing in the Senate budget.  This funding will support science education programs for thousands of students, while maintaining a meticulous record of weather observations and long-term study of climate.

The Blue Hill Trailside Museum has a $250,000 line-item in the Senate budget, but only $25,000 in the House budget. These funds provide operational support for the museum’s interpretive center, rehabilitated animal zoo, educational programs and wildlife research.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s budget has been severely restricted in past years.  In the last seven years, staffing levels for the agency decreased by nearly 30%.  While dedicated DCR staff work hard to maintain the parks, the lack of resources threatens the safety, quality of experience and stewardship of the Blue Hills and all our state parks.  The level of funding in the Senate budget is $39,863,728.

Photo credit (otter): Kent Harnois
Photo credit (Observatory): Freida Cooper

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