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Green Park Award

Each year, DCNR and the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) recognize excellence in the public park community for sites that demonstrate the integration of green and sustainable park practices through the Green Park Award.

Green Park Award Nominations

Nominations are accepted for the Green Park Award from November until January, and one local park is selected as the site that best meets the criteria of the Green Park Award.

The nomination form details the submission requirements.

Green Park Award Selection

Green Park Award applications are evaluated against the criteria below and a winner is selected by the DCNR/PRPS Green Parks Committee. Award nominations are evaluated on:

  • Site location and site design
  • Water conservation
  • Natural landscaping
  • Materials selection and construction
  • Connecting people to nature
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Environmental stewardship messaging

The award will is presented during the Annual PRPS Conference. The winning park receives a plaque and a native tree planted on site with a commemorative marker. 

All nominations submitted for the Green Park Award are showcased on DCNR’s Green Park Award web page and featured on the PA Green Community Parks Map.

2017 Green Parks Award Winner

The 2017 Green Parks Award winner is The Watershed Farm in Westmoreland County. The Watershed Farm was selected for its demonstrated commitment to:

  • Water resource protection
  • Habitat creation
  • Connecting people to nature

Restored as a family farm landscape, the Watershed Farm is a 123-acre property that is home to a refurbished bank barn, the original brick farmhouse, and a four-acre wetland.

The bank barn serves as the Nimick Family Education Center, allowing staff to provide environmental programming to nearly 1,000 students and community groups each year.

More than 1,700 native trees and shrubs were planted to create 150-foot riparian forest buffers around the waterways and wetland.  Gardens on the farm host numerous:

  • Pollinator-friendly plants
  • Bee boxes
  • Bat boxes

A permeable parking area, two rain gardens, and natural swales promote infiltration and reduce erosion from storm water.

The Watershed Farm is also host to the popular Ligonier Country Market every Saturday from May to October.

Previous Green Park Award Winners

Previous winners of the Green Park Award include:

Award Nominees -- Honorable Mention

The following Green Park Award nominees deserve an honorable mention for their green and sustainable park practices: