Commonwealth Kicks Off Discussion on Growing State’s Outdoor Recreation Industry

PA's Outdoor Recreation IndustryCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

PENNSYLVANIA — Outdoor recreation is a vital part of Pennsylvania’s economy, accounting for $12 billion in value and 150,000 full-time jobs. Recognizing the importance of this sector, the Wolf Administration has convened a new Recreation Engagement Coalition (REC) to help grow outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania. The REC, which is part of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Growing Outdoor Recreation for Pennsylvania (GORP) initiative, will be the primary adviser in helping to build the state’s Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Yesterday, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Pennsylvania r Recreation Nathan Reigner joined other Wolf administration officials at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence to kick off discussions on this important effort. With their help, we can ensure that outdoor recreation continues to thrive in Pennsylvania for years to come.

“DCNR has made strategic accomplishments in the first seven years of the Wolf Administration and is intent on building upon that progress in 2022 and beyond,” Dunn said. “We have seen a tremendous interest in outdoor recreation over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as people have grown to appreciate the role it plays not just for our health and wellbeing, but also for our commonwealth’s economy. At the core of our priorities is ensuring outdoor recreation benefits all Pennsylvanians. I am eager to work with this advisory coalition to outline priorities for the outdoor recreation sector over the course of the coming year.”

The office will be responsible for coordinating and synergizing among entities within and connected to the state government to help align and support strategic initiatives, partnerships, policies, resources, and more. The goal of the office is to equitably enhance access to and participation in outdoor recreation, to support outdoor businesses for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians, and to leverage outdoor recreation for community and economic development and sustainability.

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“Public lands are at the heart of outdoor recreation, making it critical that DCNR continues to focus on strategic growth and coordination to ensure the outdoors are welcoming and accessible to all Pennsylvanians and visitors,” Reigner said. “Convening this coalition and the GORP initiative is vital to growing and empowering Pennsylvania’s outdoor economy to better serve the commonwealth’s residents, visitors, and communities.”

A list of REC members is available upon request. The coalition includes members from across Pennsylvania with local, regional and statewide influence and expertise in the outdoor recreation sector representing multiple disciplines.

“So much of what we do is influenced by the stakeholders across the commonwealth working 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 also helping us improve our strategic initiatives.”

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