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​​​​Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan

Every five years, states across the nation are required to produce a new statewide recreation plan to help guide their recrea​tion policies, programs, and investments.

The plan is needed to remain eligible for federal grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which are used to:

  • Build parks and historic sites
  • Conserve forests, rivers, lakes, and wildlife habitat
  • Provide access to recreation, hunting, and fishing

Pennsylvania has benefitted from more than $216 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for projects across the Commonwealth since 1965.

2025-2029 Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan

​The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and its Technical Advisory Committee for the Outdoor Recreation Plan have begun the process of preparing the next Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.​

Recreation Plan Research and Public Input

Public participation is a vital component in the development of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan.

DCNR needs to hear from everyone to gather feedback and insight from Pennsylvania residents, recreation enthusiasts, and those that provide outdoor recreation services and facilities.

The public is encouraged to participate in an online survey where they can share about their activity of choice and provide feedback about what is needed to enhance their recreation experience in Pennsylvania.

The survey, available in both English and Spanish, will be open through Wednesday, May 22, 2024, and should take less than 15 minutes to complete:

It is important to hear from everyone -- from enthusiasts to occasional, and future recreators.

2020-2024 Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has finalized Pennsylvania’s next Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (PDF) -- the blueprint for delivering outdoor recreation services through 2024.

In 2018 and 2019, the department collected and analyzed public input relating to the five priority themes for the plan:

  • Health and wellness
  • Recreation for all
  • Sustainable systems
  • Technology
  • Funding and economic development

The department received input from 12,000 people to help shape the plan.

The department presented 20 draft recommendations and close to 100 action items in October 2019 for the public’s reaction and feedback.

The 2020-2024 outdoor recreation plan is being used by state agencies, local governments, and other recreation providers to guide outdoor recreation programs, policies, and projects.

Outdoor Recreation Access and Need Maps

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has developed Outdoor Recreation Access Interactive Maps that help implement Pennsylvania’s vision that enjoyable outdoor recreation is welcoming to all and accessible in every Pennsylvania community.

The department has​ partnered with The Trust for Public Land and WeConservePA to ​answer two questions:

  • Who in Pennsylvania has access to outdoor recreation within 10 minutes of their home?
  • More importantly, who doesn’t?

The interactive maps can help identify new recreation spots to increase equitable access.

A Web Map and Analysis Frequently Asked Questions Document (PDF) is available to aid users with the interactive maps.