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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 recreation 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 $178 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for projects across the commonwealth during the last 55 years.

2020-2024 Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan

While Pennsylvania is still implementing the recommendations and action of its 2014 Outdoor Recreation Plan, DCNR has begun the process of developing its 2020-2024 plan, which is expected to be released in the spring of 2020.

A 39-member Technical Advisory Committee (PDF) of state agencies and organizations who can bring resources to the planning, funding, and implementation of the plan, has helped develop Draft 2020-2024 Statewide Outdoor Recommendations and Actions (PDF), containing 20 recommendations and nearly 100 action items for future outdoor recreation planning.

Public Participation in Developing Plan

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

With each plan, research is conducted to gather feedback and insight of Pennsylvania residents, recreation enthusiasts, and those that provide outdoor recreation services and facilities.

Fall and Spring Lion Polls

During the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019, the Penn State Center for Survey Research conducted two Lion Polls to understand outdoor recreation patterns and opinions regarding future recreation land conservation, facility development and management.

Summary of Fall 2018 Lion Poll (PDF)
Summary of Spring 2019 Lion Poll (PDF)

Local Recreation Provider Survey

More than 1,000 recreation providers, including local appointed officials, local elected officials, and park and recreation directors, responded to a survey gauging outdoor recreation services in their local communities and the challenges they face.

Summary of Local Recreation Provider Survey (PDF)

Public Online Survey

An online survey was conducted during May and June 2019 to capture the thoughts and opinions of everyday Pennsylvanians who did not have an opportunity to answer the other surveys, but had an interest in outdoor recreation. A total of 8,676 people responded.

Summary of Public Online Survey (PDF)

Focus Groups

Two focus groups of Latino and Black Pennsylvanians were conducted to garner opinions from two groups that are underrepresented in other survey methods used by DCNR.

Summary of Focus Group Sessions (PDF)