Derry Township, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today visited Keystone State Park to call attention to the park’s infrastructure needs and how the use of federal pandemic recovery funds could address outdated facilities and public safety preparedness across the state.
“A new sewer line project underway at Keystone will eliminate the need to replace the outdated treatment plant. However there are still many improvements that should be made to provide visitors modern facilities and full-service camping,” Dunn said. “These types of improvements are essential to meeting visitor expectations and providing for their safety, and the use of recovery funds is critical in addressing infrastructure needs of our state forests and state parks throughout Pennsylvania.”
The 1,200-acre Keystone State Park is great for day-trips and family vacations year-round with camping facilities and a lake providing an ideal setting for wildlife watching or outdoor adventures. The park is within easy driving distance from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
Keystone faces a number of infrastructure challenges including replacing the outdated park office to better serve overnight visitors, improvements to overnight accommodations including RV hookups and cabins, and road repairs.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s $1.7 billion plan to help Pennsylvania recover from the COVID-19 pandemic includes designating $450 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for conservation, recreation and preservation.
DCNR has a documented need of more than $1.4 billion for infrastructure repairs and improvements. Issues such as addressing wear and tear, extreme weather and climate change impacts, and a high demand for outdoor recreation require investments, which also allow incorporation of sustainable design and energy efficiency.
Pennsylvania made its last major injection of funding for conservation an outdoor recreation in 2005 with the Growing Greener II initiative, which funded hundreds of trail projects, conserved thousands of acres of threatened and open space, and helped with hundreds of water projects to reduce pollution and flooding.
Statewide, outdoor recreation is a multibillion-dollar industry that directly supports 150,000 jobs. For every dollar invested in state parks, $12.41 returns to the commonwealth.
DCNR manages 121 state parks, 2.2 million acres of state forest lands, and is tasked with conserving and sustaining Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.
DCNR’s website for more information about Keystone State Park.
Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315
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