HARRISBURG — Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and Nathan Reigner, director of outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania, have joined Wolf administration officials and a new engagement coalition of Recreation (REC) to initiate discussions about the growth of the outdoor recreation sector in Pennsylvania.
“DCNR has made strategic achievements during the first seven years of the Wolf administration and intends to build on that progress in 2022 and beyond,” Dunn said. “We have seen tremendous interest in outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have come to appreciate the role it plays not only in our health and well-being, but also in the economy of our Commonwealth. At the heart of our priorities, we ensure that outdoor recreation benefits all Pennsylvanians. I look forward to working with this advisory coalition to set priorities for the outdoor recreation sector in the coming year.
Locally, Happy Valley Adventure Bureau communications director Edward Stoddard has been named to the new state coalition.
“Pennsylvania is a premier destination for outdoor recreation. Happy Valley is at the center of it all in the heart of the state, with its own abundance of state parks and forests, trails, pristine waterways and natural areas,” said Stoddard. “I am excited to work with the Recreation Engagement Coalition to develop strategies and tactics for DCNR Pennsylvania’s new outdoor recreation office. As an avid outdoorsman, I look forward to helping to responsibly grow this industry for the well-being and economy of all who live in and visit the Commonwealth and our Central Pennsylvania region.
Wednesday’s event at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence convened the REC, which is part of DCNR’s Growing Outdoor Recreation for Pennsylvania (GORP) efforts will be key advisers helping to build the Recreation Bureau of Commonwealth outdoors. Outdoor recreation adds $12 billion in value to Pennsylvania’s economy and 150,000 full-time jobs, which represents approximately 1.5% of Commonwealth GDP.
“Public grounds are at the heart of outdoor recreation, making it essential that DCNR continues to focus on strategic growth and coordination to ensure the outdoors is welcoming and accessible to all Pennsylvanians and visitors,” Reigner said. “The convening of this coalition and the GORP initiative is essential to growing and strengthening Pennsylvania’s outdoor economy to better serve Commonwealth residents, visitors and communities.”
This office will be responsible for coordination and synergy between entities within and connected to the state government to help align and support strategic initiatives, partnerships, policies, resources, etc. The office’s goal is to equitably improve access to and participation in outdoor recreation, support outdoor businesses to benefit all Pennsylvanians, and leverage outdoor recreation for development and sustainability. community and economic.
A list of REC members is available upon request. The coalition includes members from across Pennsylvania with local, regional, and national influence and expertise in the outdoor recreation sector representing multiple disciplines.
“Much of what we do is influenced by stakeholders across the Commonwealth who work to make a difference in their communities,” Dunn said. “We are grateful for such an active, engaged and energetic advisory coalition that supports our mission, while helping us improve our strategic initiatives. »
DCNR manages 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forests and is the largest funder of outdoor recreation development in the Commonwealth. The department works with stakeholders to help with strategic planning for one of the largest tracts of public lands in the Eastern United States, which includes 6,200 local parks, more than 12,000 miles of trails and more 83,000 miles of waterways. Visit the DCNR website for more information about the department and its mission.