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Preparing for the Future: DCNR Seeks Applicants for NextGen Advisory Council


​Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced the department is seeking applicants for its NextGen Advisory Council​.

The Council strives to have members with a broad range of cultures, experiences, and perspectives to inform the agency’s work and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Council members will aid in creating lasting change and necessary conditions to ensure all Pennsylvanians -- especially the next generation -- can connect to public lands, natural resources, recreation, and conservation.

“The NextGen Advisory Council plays a very important role in helping the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ work to expand access to outdoor recreation and to ensure public lands are welcoming to all,” Dunn said. “Experience in conservation and government is not needed to apply. Our goal is to create a council of people who are willing to work together towards the goal of supporting the outdoors for all as we chart a path for future generations.”

Those interested in the Next Gen Advisory Council can apply to serve on the Council online. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, July 31.

The Council membership is a three-year term commitment, with the option to serve an additional, consecutive term.

The Council mee​ts quarterly on the third Tuesdays of January, April, July, and October.

Meetings are virtual to reduce travel and promote accessibility.

Members are expected to participate in at least 75 percent of meetings.

Council members also have the opportunity to participate in optional committees, networking, and special project meetings.

These are also held in the evenings on the third Tuesday of the month and scheduled in between quarterly meetings to further Council initiatives and encourage relationship building among Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ​staff and Council members.

Benefits to participants include:

  • Learning about careers in conservation: science, environment, nature, advocacy, etc.

  • Gaining leadership experience while enacting change to benefit the environment and outdoor experience for all

  • Learning and strengthen professional skills including writing, presenting, policy development, networking, and more

  • Tapping into opportunities for outdoor activities and sports in parks, forests, and trails

  • Meeting and working with department staff and leaders on agency initiatives and projects, sharing the unique perspectives of a younger generation

  • Helping your community by working with the department to ensure equitable access to outdoor resources in Pennsylvania

  • Meeting and collaborating with other Pennsylvanians who share the goal of inclusion in conservation and outdoor recreation.

“This Council is a great opportunity to learn more about the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, while also serving the public through providing fresh, new ideas to help promote our beautiful state parks, forests and other natural resources across the Commonwealth,” Dunn said.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources launched the NextGen Advisory Council in 2022 to increase public participation and expand its diversity of perspectives and engagement opportunities to help to inform department programs and operations.

If you want to learn more about the Council or have questions, please contact the department through email.

The Council is part of the department’s efforts to make the outdoors more accessible for all people, which is a part of the Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan and the Penn’s Parks for All strategic plan.

Some actions the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has taken to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging on public lands include:

  • An ongoing employee training program
  • Utilizing geographic information system mapping to improve equity in grantmaking
  • Studying park and open space access​ across the state
  • Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into the daily work of all areas within the agency.

Visit the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ website for more information about the NextGen Advisory Council​, and check out the department’s Calendar of Events​ for events on public lands.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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