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A Message from the Secretary: 2017 Highlights and Accomplishments

January 10, 2018 01:30 PM

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​As I reflect on my travels around “Penn’s Woods” throughout 2017, I am reminded anew about the stunning state parks, forests, mountains, rivers, and trails we have.

It certainly is our “common wealth” as Pennsylvanians, and our constitutional right to have and enjoy these spectacular assets.

During the course of the year, there were many accomplishments -- too varied to prioritize -- and grouped together, they are the reason I am proud of DCNR's service to the commonwealth and all that we have been able to accomplish during the past year.

Some DCNR highlights:

  • Our Bureau of State Parks launched “Penn’s Parks for All -- Planning for the State Parks of Tomorrow,” an intensive, statewide effort to seek public input to help guide its national award-winning state park system into the future.
  • Our Bureau of Forestry continued to advance work on the recommendations to Governor Wolf to improve forest conservation, jobs, and forest products.
  • Our Bureau of Recreation and Conservation was the driving force behind DCNR’s December 5th announcement that 266 grants totaling $44 million would be distributed in annual investments across the state.
  • Our staff in the Bureau of Facility Design and Construction, long tasked with assuring safety and comfort of our state park and forest visitors, are focused on energy efficiency with promotion of energy efficient buildings, landscapes, and designs, including green certification programs.
  • Nearly 7,500 records of new water wells were gathered directly from drillers in the WebDriller database, and our Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey staff and interns added 18,000 water well records to an online information system that provides an important source of groundwater, water well, and springs data.
  • Collectively, we are all proud of the excellent job of the Pennsylvania Outdoors Corps. In just its second year, this innovative new program is putting young people to work in our parks and forests, while helping many of the workers chart future career paths in the outdoors and conservation.

I join our dedicated staff in taking pride in some of the notable accomplishments of 2017. They reflect DCNR’s six strategic initiatives -- youth, recreation, forest conservation, climate, water, and sustainability.

Since 2016, these initiatives have made great strides as they grow from, and build on, the core work our bureaus and staff perform every day.

These efforts also adhere to DCNR’s five strategic goals; you can select these goals below to learn more about what we did this year:

I have no doubt 2018 will continue to be marked by outstanding DCNR employee efforts and continued valuable interaction with our neighbors, visitors, and partners.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and rewarding new year!

Cindy Adams Dunn
Secretary, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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