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Shapiro Administration Sponsors ‘Hike for Healing’, Reminds Pennsylvanians of Substance Use Disorder Resources at State Parks


Harrisburg, PA -- Today, members of the Shapiro Administration sponsored a ‘Hike for Healing’ at Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area to remind Pennsylvanians of the healing power of nature, particularly for individuals affected by substance use disorder (SUD), and that substance use disorder supports are available throughout Pennsylvania’s state parks.

Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Dunn joined the Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, individuals in recovery, and others for a one-mile hike through the 1,025-acre state park.

“We know that for those in recovery from substance use disorder, spending time in nature can be a powerful tool in their journey and provide a boost in both mental and physical health," said Secretary Davis-Jones. “DDAP is proud to partner with DCNR to spotlight the natural beauty and opportunities Pennsylvania has to offer, especially during this time of year.”

Across all systems, Pennsylvania currently has more than 12,000 miles of trails that offer activities such as walking, biking, and horseback riding.

Trails are free outdoor recreation and important to health because:

  • Their walkable access motivates people to participate in physical activity and to do so more frequently;
  • Trails encourage physical activity that can improve heart health; and
  • Parks and trails can provide safe spaces for people to play and exercise, away from busy streets and commercial zones.

“Many studies support this, but most people just know -- when you are outside among trees and being active, you just feel better,” Secretary Dunn said. “We are always happy to highlight the healing power of nature and outdoor recreation, and remind everyone that there is a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian, as well as more than 6,000 local parks and millions of acres of state forest to explore.”

Surveys for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources statewide outdoor recreation plan show that 65 percent of Pennsylvanians believe that trails and parks are an essential component of our health care system, and 55 percent believe outdoor recreation should be prescribed by a doctor to deal with health issues.

In addition, free naloxone was also available at the event as a reminder for all Pennsylvanians to keep naloxone on hand and that even while exploring the great outdoors, everyone can be prepared to administer this life-saving tool.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources requires all state park officers to be trained in administering naloxone and to carry a naloxone kit including a pair of gloves, two prefilled, needleless intranasal devices and a carrying case while on duty at Pennsylvania state parks.

Additionally, many state parks have posted signage containing help for individuals struggling with the disease of addiction, such as avenues to get naloxone, resources for finding substance use disorder treatment, and educational tools.

Individuals seeking substance use disorder treatment or recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can be connected to local resources by visiting or by calling the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Learn more about the Shapiro Administration’s efforts in combatting the overdose crisis at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website.

MEDIA CONTACTS:DCNR, Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

                                DDAP, Stephany Dugan

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