With the goal of improving Pennsylvania´s state parks, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the plan “Penn’s Parks for All.” The announcement was made along the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dun at the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland Countyon on Friday.
As reported by penncapital-star.com, the project aims to address long-term issues such as public accessibility, infrastructure improvements and repairs, and climate change.
Known as “Penn’s Parks for All,” the plan will serve as a blueprint for park officials at the commonwealth’s 121 state parks over the next two decades, the Wolf administration said in a statement, adding that the plan was developed with “extensive” input from the public.
During the announcement, Wolf noted the importance of these parks during the pandemic and the need to support the outdoor spaces. “During that time these parks were heavily used by people in Pennsylvania and beyond,” he said.
.@GovernorTomWolf visited #PineGroveFurnaceStatePark with DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn to highlight the importance of outdoor spaces to our well-being during the pandemic and announce a plan for #PAStateParks of tomorrow. Learn more ➡️ https://t.co/NccLeRrFpj #PennsParksforAll pic.twitter.com/PWYmc8hrf6
— PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (@DCNRnews) July 30, 2021
Necessary open spaces
“The opportunity to enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities in state parks and forests was critical to our mental and physical health during the pandemic. As we get back on track, we need to ensure generations to come will have the same opportunities, and that all Pennsylvanians feel connected to their state parks,” the Democratic governor said.
The plan includes strategies as the following:
- Promoting parks as safe and welcoming;
- Evaluating and update visitor information and programs to include untold stories and improve inaccuracies of cultural stories;
- Improving transportation options to parks to broaden access;
- Improving accessibility to all water-based recreation;
- Ensuring state parks are adequately funded including reducing costs and improving efficiencies.
- Identifying the need for additional trails and trail connectivity from parks to communities.
Secretary Dunn also underlined the relevant role of Pennsylvania’s parks during the pandemic.“As economic drivers for nearby communities, state parks and outdoor recreation also are an important part of our recovery,” Dunn said.
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Pennsylvania’s parks had record attendance during the pandemic as many Pennsylvanians sought natural open spaces to endure the lockdown.