Tuesday, March 22, 2022

DCNR Highlights How Allocation Of Federal American Rescue Funds Could Help With Urgent Infrastructure Repair Needs At State Parks, Forests

On March 22, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn visited
Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County to call attention to the park’s infrastructure needs and how the use of federal pandemic recovery funds could address outdated facilities and public safety preparedness across the state.

“A new sewer line project underway at Keystone will eliminate the need to replace the outdated treatment plant. However there are still many improvements that should be made to provide visitors modern facilities and full-service camping,” Dunn said. “These types of improvements are essential to meeting visitor expectations and providing for their safety, and the use of recovery funds is critical in addressing infrastructure needs of our state forests and state parks throughout Pennsylvania.” 

The 1,200-acre Keystone State Park is great for day-trips and family vacations year-round with camping facilities and a lake providing an ideal setting for wildlife watching or outdoor adventures. 

The park is within easy driving distance from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Keystone faces a number of infrastructure challenges including replacing the outdated park office to better serve overnight visitors, improvements to overnight accommodations including RV hookups and cabins, and road repairs.

Dunn noted Gov. Tom Wolf’s $1.7 billion plan to help Pennsylvania recover from the COVID-19 pandemic includes designating $450 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for conservation, recreation and preservation.  [Read more here.]

[Note: There is also bipartisan legislation pending in the Senate to allocate $500 million in American Rescue Plan funding for recreation and conservation purposes.  Read more here.]

DCNR has a documented need of more than $1.4 billion for infrastructure repairs and improvements. 

Issues such as addressing wear and tear, extreme weather and climate change impacts, and a high demand for outdoor recreation require investments, which also allow incorporation of sustainable design and energy efficiency.

Pennsylvania made its last major injection of funding for conservation and outdoor recreation in 2005 with the Growing Greener II initiative, which funded hundreds of trail projects, conserved thousands of acres of threatened and open space, and helped with hundreds of water projects to reduce pollution and flooding.

Statewide, outdoor recreation is a multibillion-dollar industry that directly supports 150,000 jobs. 

For every dollar invested in state parks, $12.41 returns to the Commonwealth.

DCNR manages 121 state parks, 2.2 million acres of state forest lands, and is tasked with conserving and sustaining Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

[Take Action Now

[Visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation Protect Our Parks and Forests website to learn how you can take action to protect our State Parks and Forests.]

Related Articles:

-- Two Bipartisan Bills Just Sitting In Senate Waiting To Address Recreation, Record Number Of Water Quality Impaired Streams Reported In 2022

-- DCNR Budget Hearing: We Have A Unique Opportunity To Invest In Our Recreation, Clean Water & Land Conservation Infrastructure With Growing Greener III

-- DCNR Budget Testimony: Critical Investments Needed To Reduce $1.4 Billion Backlog Of Infrastructure Repairs, To Expand Local Economies, Provide Recreation For All

-- Growing Greener Coalition: Action Needed On Bipartisan Growing Greener III Proposals To Address Critical Water Quality, Recreation, Green Infrastructure Needs

[Posted: March 22, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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