The Senate Tuesday unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 404 offered by Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) recognizing the invaluable contributions the 29 National Parks and Pennsylvania’s award-winning State Park system make to Pennsylvania’s communities and in the lives of our citizens.
Ironically, the same day, the House is scheduled to take a final vote on House Bill 2013 (Ellis-R-Butler) that the PA Parks and Forests Foundation and the PA Environmental Council call a “frontal assault on why Pennsylvania’s State Parks are so successful” by opening the parks to private development.
The text of the resolution follows--
Recognizing the month of August 2016 as "National and State Park Month" in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the important role the 29 National parks and 120 State parks play in our communities and our lives.
WHEREAS, The National Park Service was founded on August 25, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson with the mission to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations"; and
WHEREAS, To celebrate the lOath anniversary of the National Park Service, all its sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission days to everyone; and
WHEREAS, The National Park System covers more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 409 sites with 28 different designations, including: 128 historical parks or sites, 78 national monuments, 59 national parks, 25 battlefields or military parks, 19 preserves, 18 recreation areas, 10 seashores, 4 parkways, 4 lakeshores and 2 reserves; and
WHEREAS, In 2015 more than 305 million people visited a national park; and
WHEREAS, Annual visitor spending in communities within 60 miles of National Park Service sites supports more than 240,000 jobs, mostly local, and contributes approximately $27 billion to the National economy; and
WHEREAS, In Pennsylvania, the first State park at Valley Forge opened in 1893 and was given to the National Park Service for America's bicentennial in 1976; and
WHEREAS, Since 1893 the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks has blossomed into one of the largest state park systems in the nation with 121 parks covering 61 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties; and
WHEREAS, State and national parks are dedicated to enhancing our quality of life through recreation programming, leisure activities and conservation efforts; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate recognize the month of August 2016 as "National and State Park Month" and affirm the great societal value these parks play in the lives of the citizens of the United States and of this Commonwealth.
Related Stories:PA Parks & Forests Foundation: What State Parks Really Need, Hint: It’s Not Golf Courseds & Water Slides
(Photo: Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties.)