Pennsylvania has earned top national honors for its work to transform outdoor recreation planning and get residents to spend more time outdoors, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Tuesday.
The state’s five-year Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan was honored as the best in the nation by to the National Park Service and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals at a conference in Idaho this week.
Dunn noted that Pennsylvania is the first state to have won the award twice with consecutive plan updates.
“Pennsylvanians are so fortunate to live in a place that offers four seasons of outdoor recreation, millions of acres of public lands, thousands of miles of trails and 5,700 local parks,” Dunn said. “We very proud that this award recognizes our collaborative approach to outdoor recreation planning and connecting people to our special natural places.”
“A government that works supports efforts to create healthy and livable communities that serve the recreation needs of those who live, work and play in them,” Dunn said at the Northeast Pennsylvania Trails Symposium in Scranton.
Pennsylvania’s five-year plan was released in June 2015. The plan identified walking for pleasure or fitness as the most popular outdoor recreation activity. It establishes a goal of having a trail within 15 minutes of every Pennsylvania citizen.
The statewide plan outlines 20 recommendations and 83 action steps. The national review team specifically recognized the plan for comprehensive data collection; well-crafted writing; and an implementation plan that is robust.
More than 10,000 people provided input into the plan’s strategy development.
States must update outdoor recreation plans every five years in order to continue to be eligible for related federal dollars.To view the plan or for more information, visit DCNR’s Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan website.