On October 2, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn called for public input on the draft recommendations that will help guide Pennsylvania’s next Outdoor Recreation Plan.
“This plan allows us to keep a pulse on the latest recreation needs of Pennsylvanians and adapt our strategies and investments to best suit what helps to get people outdoors,” Dunn said. “Outdoor recreation delivers huge benefits for all of us—from driving local economies, to helping us lead healthy, active lifestyles. We all need outdoor recreation in our lives, and this plan makes recommendations on how we can make it accessible to everyone.”
During October, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on 20 proposed recommendations and nearly 100 actions items that have been developed by a Technical Advisory Committee, which has spent the last nine months examining challenges and opportunities around five theme areas for the plan: health and wellness; recreation for all; sustainable systems; technology; and funding and economic development.
Pennsylvania’s five-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is used by state agencies, local governments, and other recreation providers to guide outdoor recreation programs, policies, and projects. The federally required plan keeps Pennsylvania eligible for federal Land and Water Conservation funding. Pennsylvania has benefitted from more than $178 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund that has supported more than 1,600 projects across the commonwealth over the last 50 years.
DCNR will hold three opportunities for public input through online public webinars on October 17 from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM; October 22 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM; and October 24 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. All are welcome and encouraged to register for one of the webinars and then take a feedback survey. Registration is available through the Outdoor Recreation Plan webpage.
A critical component of the plan is research to determine trends, interests, demographics, and attitudes. Each five-year plan cycle includes an analysis of data from across the state and nation. In formulating its ideas, the advisory team used data from surveys collected over the past year from outdoor enthusiasts, recreation providers, and the general population of Pennsylvania.
That survey data, as well as the recommendations and the opportunity to comment, are available on the Outdoor Recreation Plan webpage. A final draft of the plan will be available for public review in January.