The Community Preservation Act is a statewide law that allows communities to create a dedicated local fund to conserve natural areas, improve outdoors recreation, protect historic places, and better community housing options. Nearly every community around Buzzards Bay has passed CPA, using the funds to improve parks, create walking trails, and save acres of land that protect drinking water sources.
If you care about clean water and vibrant natural areas, read these three ways that CPA would help enhance New Bedford’s natural spaces for everyone to enjoy. Then make sure to vote yes on Question 5 (it’ll be on the back of your ballot) on Tuesday, Nov. 4!
1. CPA protects land that protects our water
In places like Acushnet, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, and Wareham, CPA funding has been used to protect forests, fields, wetlands, and other important natural areas that keep our water clean. By passing CPA, New Bedford could do the same.
At the The Sawmill, located at the edge of New Bedford in Acushnet, the Coalition has been working for the past year to restore 20 acres along the Acushnet River. By rebuilding wetlands and restoring the riverbank, the Coalition is taking a big step forward to bring the river back to health. But there are more important natural places along the river’s length that need protecting, and CPA funding could help make that happen.
2. CPA improves access to the outdoors
New Bedford is well known for its extensive parks and beaches, which offer local residents unique opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without leaving the city.
But many park facilities are run down. And at the beaches, bath houses are in need of renovations. In other places – from the waterfront in the South End to the city’s public forests in the North End – access is limited or nonexistent.
By passing CPA, New Bedford could enhance these outdoor places by improving facilities and adding walking paths, boat launches, parking areas, and safe access points. With better access, more people will be able to get outside and explore the natural areas that make New Bedford special.
3. CPA helps more children discover nature
Every year, thousands of children discover their local environment through schools, camps, and after-school programs with the Coalition. In New Bedford, we bring kids to the beach, into the forest, and out in their own schoolyard to learn about the outdoors. In some cases, these programs are the first time children have ever explored nature in their own city.
By protecting more natural areas and providing better access to those places, CPA could result in more options for kids to have safe, fun outdoor adventures in New Bedford. Whether with their school, at summer camp, or with their families, New Bedford’s children deserve the discover the nature that exists in their own backyard.
If you live in New Bedford, remember to vote yes in support of the Community Preservation Act on Tuesday, Nov. 4!