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Green and Sustainable Community Parks

In addition to supporting conservation practices on its own land, DCNR is committed to helping communities across Pennsylvania with conservation approaches that can help them achieve green and sustainable:

  • Parks
  • Trails
  • Recreation facilities
  • Conservation areas

The term “green” refers to practices that offer environmental benefits or that reduce the impacts of human activities on the environment.

The DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation has developed five green principles for park development and sustainability. These principles guide readers in:

Priority areas for green and sustainable practices include:

  • Green stormwater infrastructure (Green Principles #1 and #3)
  • Connecting people to nature (Green Principle #2)
  • Green facilities (Green Principles #4 and #5)
  • Green Park Award

Tools and Resources for Green and Sustainable Parks

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation provides tools and resources to help communities and organizations achieve green and sustainable practices on their public sites.

Creating Sustainable Community Parks and Landscapes: A Guide to Improving Quality of Life by Protecting Natural Resources, Second Edition (PDF) is a DCNR guidebook that:

  • Outlines the benefits of enhancing the natural resources in local parks
  • Explains how to maintain parks in a sustainable manner
  • Provides a step-by-step guide to help park staff achieve those results.

Greening the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation's Community Conservation Partnerships Grant Program (WMV) is a 45-minute video about the greening of the DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation grant program. Nearly 10 years ago, DCNR embarked on an effort to green its parks and recreation program by incorporating green and sustainable tools and resources into its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants. Today, this program continues to benefit DCNR’s grant recipients and partners across the commonwealth.

Cost Benefit Analysis Web Page

The DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation offers calculators, tools, models, and fact sheets to assist with determining whether to install green infrastructure practices on your site.

PA Green Community Parks Map

This map from DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation features community parks across Pennsylvania that have incorporated best practices in green and sustainable design, operations, and maintenance.

The map also lists parks that have been nominated and selected for the annual Green Park Award from DCNR and the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society.

Pennsylvania's Interactive Sustainable Park Design Model

This is an interactive map from DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation that allows one to explore and learn about green and sustainable practices, resources, and amenities within a community park setting.