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2014-2019 PA Outdoor Recreation Plan​

Applications for the 2020 Community Conservation Partnership Program grant round should reference the 2014-2019 Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan Executive Summary (PDF).

The 2020 grant application round closes Wednesday, April 22.

Every five years, states across the nation are required to produce a new statewide recreation plan to remain eligible to receive federal Land and Water Conservation funds. The plan guides outdoor recreation programs, policies and projects.

Work on the 2014-19 outdoor recreation plan began in 2012. The final plan was completed in December 2014:

2014-2019 Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (PDF)

2014-2019 Pennsylvania Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan Executive Summary (PDF)


Early on the plan development process, discussions with key stakeholders involved in recreation produced several key themes or priority areas that serve as the foundation of the plan.

The plan is organized into the following sections:

  • Resource Management and Stewardship -- Having safe, accessible, modern and desirable facilities that meet the current needs of citizens is one of the most important aspects in delivering outdoor recreation services.

  • Tourism and Economic Development -- Economics are often what get the attention of decision makers. Selling the benefits of outdoor recreation – both social and economic – will require better data and education.

  • Local Parks and Recreation -- For most Pennsylvanians, local parks serve as the primary venues for their outdoor recreation pursuits. From small neighborhood pocket parks, to greenways, to larger community or county-level recreation areas, these locations are tapped for their close-to-home benefits.

  • Health and Wellness -- Outdoor recreation can be viewed as a way to address societal health care issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and mental health. Scientific research links health and wellness to those who are participating in outside recreation. Making outdoor recreation a part of regular routine can be a “prescription” for wellness.

  • Funding -- Fiscal restraints are limiting providers’ ability to fully meet recreation demands. Implementing Pennsylvania’s recreation plan requires long-term financial sustainability.

Pennsylvania has updated its trails strategic plan, which envisions a statewide network of trails. The Land and Water Trail Network Plan is an appendix to the Recreation Plan and makes seven recommendations.


The PA 2014-2019 Outdoor Recreation Plan has 20 recommendations and 83 actions items. The Outdoor Recreation Plan Matrix (PDF) outlines them under each of the plan priorities. Implementation updates will be provided each year.