There is high public satisfaction with the quality of services and facilities currently being offered at state parks. Constraints to using state parks appear to be few, but more work could be done to improve transportation opportunities to parks from urban areas.
Expand use, access, and inclusion:
- Develop a marketing campaign that will attract diverse, new, and inexperienced outdoor recreational users to the state parks.
- Improve transportation options to broaden park access, particularly in urban areas, by partnering with public transportation agencies to improve utilization of bus and rail lines.
Improve Program Offerings and In-park Experiences:
- Expand educational programming for all audiences on how to enjoy the state parks sustainably during their stay, with emphasis on understanding conservation of park resources and ecologically sensitive behavior.
- Work with the educational community to expand integration of environmental education into the classroom, particularly in urban areas and in middle and high schools, resulting in new generations of supporters of the state park system.
- Expand the use of social and electronic media, including development of smart mobile device applications, that enhance the state park experience for all Pennsylvanians.
- Expand the Bureau’s public safety and outdoor recreational programming to increase visitor awareness of the inherent risks in visiting natural places and building skills and confidence, to better prepare for outdoor experiences.
- Evaluate the more than 125 state park concession operations and implement improvements that will better serve the public. An example would be replacing a small food stand run by one concessionaire with a parking area designed for several food trucks, with the goal of enhancing flexibility and variety of refreshments for visitors.
Increase Employee Diversity:
- Increase support for youth programs, such as the PA Outdoor Corps, that serve as a stepping stone to exposing promising youth to careers in DCNR and the Bureau of State Parks.
- Develop programs to increase the diversity of state park staff to reflect the ethnicity of Pennsylvania citizens.
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- Utilize green building design where appropriate in facility construction and expand alternative energy generation (such as adding photovoltaic panels to buildings), with a goal of 50 percent of electricity derived from renewable sources by 2030.
- Continue to add new electric-vehicle charging stations across the park system to support the statewide development of a public electric vehicle charging infrastructure network.
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