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DCNR Announces Restoration Work Underway at Big Elk Creek State Park in Chester County


​Harrisburg, PA -- Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas today announced that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is beginning restoration work at Big Elk Creek State Park in Chester County.

In 2023, about 80 acres of meadows were seeded on former agricultural fields which will come into bloom this spring.

In April 2024, tree plantings will occur on more than 255 acres of streamside buffer areas at the park.

“The overarching goals of this project are to create more wildlife habitat, improve local water quality, and create more biodiverse areas at Big Elk Creek State Park,” Hallas said.

Hallas added that work is being accomplished in partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay with a grant through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program supported by federal dollars.

“We are moving forward with this restoration work as we undertake a master planning process for the park to take advantage of federal dollars available now related to improving waterways in Pennsylvania and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay,” Hallas said.

The native meadow plantings on two areas of the park will provide important floral resources for pollinators and habitat for ground nesting birds.

The tree planting areas are currently hay or crop fields and reforesting them will improve the health of nearby streams.

There will be opportunities for volunteers to help plant streamside forest buffers tree plantings in the spring, with a 1,500-tree planting scheduled for Saturday, April 6.

More information about the tree planting relay can be found on the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay website.

The cost of the meadow planting project is more than $100,000. The grant to the Alliance, which supports the meadow work and the streamside buffer establishment project, amounts to around $3 million and involves work in other locations.

The 1,800-acre Big Elk Creek State Park in southern Chester County was added to the Pennsylvania state park system in September 2022 for the benefit and use by all Pennsylvanians.

Find more information about Big Elk Creek State Park on DCNR's website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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