House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee hosts hearing on impact of public gardens
KENNETT SQUARE, Sept. 19 – State Rep. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, thanked the bi-partisan state House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee for coming to Chester County to learn about the important role and impact of public horticulture on tourism in Pennsylvania. The hearing was conducted at Longwood Gardens, an industry leader for public gardens, on Friday, Sept. 16.
Sappey requested the hearing to highlight the far-reaching economic, educational, environmental and physical benefits provided by Pennsylvania’s many public gardens, and to encourage promotion of public gardens throughout the commonwealth as a top priority for the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee.
“Our state public gardens are an integral part of the Pennsylvania tourism industry and generate significant revenue,” said Sappey. “This hearing was an excellent opportunity for policy makers to learn about how public gardens provide educational opportunities, create jobs and support local businesses.”
Testimony was provided by members of the PA Public Horticulture Coalition, a newly formed organization of industry leaders who work to showcase the rich benefits public gardens and horticulture organizations bring to the public.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the PPHC to amplify their voice and to share the important economic, community and cultural benefits that public horticulture brings to all citizens of the commonwealth,” Sappy said.
Also providing testimony to the House committee were representatives of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Longwood Gardens, Laurel Hill and the Arboretum at Penn State. Legislators also heard from the Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau, VisitPittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
As Pennsylvania’s second largest industry, tourism creates over half a million jobs and generates billions annually in state and local tax revenue. Policy makers learned through testimony from industry leaders the significant part public gardens and horticulture organizations play in the tourism economy.
In 2021, Chester County welcomed over 4.57 million visitors, supplying over 7,000 tourism jobs, and generating an economic impact of over $930 million. Longwood Gardens, located in Sappey’s 158th legislative district, brought in $360 million and 3,057 jobs to Chester County.
Anyone with questions should contact Sappey’s office at (484) 200-8264 or RepSappey@pahouse.net.