Sustainable Practices on DCNR Lands
As the state’s leading conservation agency, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources strives to model practices that conserve and sustain our natural resources. Through its green and sustainable initiative, DCNR exemplifies best practices through its:
- Vehicle fleet
- Land management
- Business operations
As stewards of commonwealth natural resources, DCNR is committed to addressing energy conservation, creation, and consumption for the facilities that are critical parts of operating public lands.
Pennsylvania’s public lands are a proving ground for innovative solutions to energy use and demonstrating the value of reducing our carbon footprint, investing in clean energy for long-term savings, and sharing our successes with the public to set an example for Pennsylvanians to consider sustainable alternatives.
Renewable Energy Use and Energy Savings
DCNR is working to produce or purchase 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
DCNR currently has 23 solar installation projects completed on its lands, with another 18 currently in design or under construction.
This work is a part of the department’s climate and sustainability efforts and the
Pennsylvania GreenGov initiative.
In addition to solar installation projects, DCNR:
- Has 17 high-performance facilities
- Has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 41 state parks and forests
- Is implementing battery-operated maintenance equipment
- Continues investing in electric vehicles across the agency’s fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles
In 2021, DCNR reduced its Green House Gas emissions by 194 metric tons. This reduction is equivalent to the emissions produced by a passenger vehicle traveling 480,838 miles.
DCNR High-Performing Facilities
DCNR manages more than 4,800 buildings within its complex and geographically diverse state park and forest systems, creating many opportunities to deploy energy efficient systems and materials.
One way to ensure best practices is to strive for high-performance buildings standards, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) -- a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.
Currently, DCNR has 17 LEED-certified buildings.
In Pennsylvania state parks:
- Elk Country Visitor Center -- LEED Gold certified
- Frances Slocum State Park Patrick J. Solano Environmental Education Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Hickory Run State Park Office and Visitor Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center and Park Office -- LEED Silver certified
- Ohiopyle State Park Office -- Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center -- LEED Gold certified
- The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park -- LEED Gold certified
- The Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning State Park -- LEED Silver certified
- Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park -- LEED Silver certified
In Pennsylvania state forests:
- Buchanan State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Clear Creek State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED certified
- Loyalsock State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Penn Nursery Office at Mira Lloyd Dock Resource Conservation Center -- LEED Silver certified
- Rothrock State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED certified
- Sproul State Forest Resource Management Center -- DCNR’s first LEED-rated facility
- Tiadaghton State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED Gold certified
- Weiser State Forest Resource Management Center -- LEED Gold certified
Pursuing LEED Certification
The following DCNR facilities are currently going through the certification process, and a few are in the planning stage:
- Delaware State Forest -- New resource center with storage building
- Hills Creek State Park -- New park office
- Keystone State Park -- New park office
- Marsh Creek State Park -- New park office