HARRISBURG – For the month of July, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its creation with a digital education campaign to inform citizens about its mission and encourage more people to visit Pennsylvania’s public lands.
“On July 1, 1995, a bill was signed into law that restructured the Department of Environmental Resources into two cabinet-level agencies – Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.
“Although we had a long history of stewardship through our bureaus, the move made conservation and management of our natural resources a priority, and recognized the importance of our parks and forests to quality of life, tourism and our economy.”
To celebrate, Dunn said the department is launching an Instagram account @padcnr, and will feature 30 days of unique posts about the agency on it using #DCNR20. Content also will be shared on Facebook at Pa. DCNR and Twitter through @DCNRNews.
Visitors to state parks and forests are encouraged to submit photos of their experiences on social media.
“Most people are familiar with our state parks and forests, but many may be surprised to learn DCNR also helps manage gypsy moths and other pests; creates geologic maps; designs buildings for our system; and provides technical assistance and grants to help communities with local parks and recreation,” Dunn said.
Dunn noted that DCNR accomplishments over the past 20 years include:
- Expanding the state park system to 120 – one within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian – and being recognized nationally as the best park system in country;
- Becoming the first independently certified public forest in the nation, and the country’s longest continuously certified, well-managed forest;
- Awarding grants that have assisted allPennsylvania counties and more than 50 percent of all communities – urban and rural – in meeting their recreation and conservation needs;
- Created a conservation landscape program that is recognized as a national model for regional place-based landscape conservation;
- Constructed 10 LEED-certified park and forest buildings;
- Expanded the award-winning TreeVitalize community tree-planting and education program to communities across the state, planting about 400,000 trees;
- Launched Get Outdoors Pennsylvania-guided programs to use outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, canoeing, and biking to engage new audiences and to create meaningful and lasting connections between the commonwealth’s citizens and its natural resources; and
- Completed and continue to upgrade a high resolution aerial photography and elevation data forPennsylvania used by all segments of government, industry and the general population.
“As part of Governor Wolf’s vision for government that works, the department continues to explore new tools to reach a broader and more diverse audience, attract them to our parks and forests and make sure that their experiences there include recreational opportunities and a stewardship message,” Dunn said.
For more information about DCNR visit the Web site at www.dcnr.pa.gov.