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Penn’s Parks for All – Planning for the State Parks of Tomorrow

May 17, 2017 05:00 PM

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​​Pennsylvania’s award-winning system of 121 state parks is now well into its second century of service.

With a state park within 25 miles of nearly every Pennsylvanian, there is a remarkable variety of types and sizes of parks located throughout the commonwealth.

During the last 25 years, DCNR has made tremendous improvements in most parks such as modernizing facilities, adding comfortable cabins, and expanding recreation opportunities. The department also has worked to better conserve and manage the parks’ natural resources, and expand the number of education staff and programs.

This summer, DCNR is launching an initiative called Penn’s Parks for All – Planning for the State Parks of Tomorrow.

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In the decades ahead, the department wants to ensure that your Pennsylvania state park system will remain as relevant and valuable to future generations as it has been to current and past generations.

Around the Fourth of July, DCNR will begin survey efforts to poll visitors, staff, and the public on their vision of the future for Pennsylvania state parks.

Questions that will be asked include:

  • Should we change the current outdoor recreation opportunities or experiences?
  • Should we enhance overnight accommodations in our state parks?
  • How should we pay for our state parks?
  • How can we protect our state parks?
  • Should we provide more modern conveniences within state parks?
  • How is visitor satisfaction with park services and facilities?
  • How appropriate are certain facilities and activities in our state parks?

Opportunities to share your comments that are in the final planning stages will include:

  • A paper survey and an accompanying state park information document will be distributed this summer and fall in the parks to park visitors.
  • An on-line survey will be launched in July. This survey, available to everyone to complete, will include additional questions for people who haven’t visited parks before, or in a while.
  • A phone survey of a statistically-significant sampling of Pennsylvanians that can be extrapolated to represent the state’s population.
  • Focused outreach efforts for emerging adults (ages 18–25); Hispanic/Latino audiences; and a series of stakeholder input meetings to drill down on specific topics.

The goal, which will be influenced by the information gathered during the many opportunities for public comment, will be to have a final report in 2019.

Find more information about Pennsylvania’s state park system see the our state park webpage.

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