Harrisburg, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn visited Shikellamy State Park to observe work on the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam, and to reiterate the need for investment in public lands infrastructure.
Work recently began on the fabridam, which creates the necessary conditions to allow for boating on Lake Augusta during the summer months.
High water levels and poor seasonal conditions in 2021 prevented replacement of one of the seven dam bags that comprise the 8-foot-tall, 2,100-foot-long dam, subsequently delaying the boating season.
“I am pleased to see that work on the dam is underway and look forward to its completion,” Dunn said. “We at DCNR appreciate the patience and understanding from the public as we work to resolve the unfortunate delays caused by high water levels and other seasonal conditions. Thank you to the staff at Shikellamy and within our Facility Design and Construction Bureau for prioritizing this project and keeping the public informed at every turn.”
Park staff will continue to provide updates on the status of the fabridam, including the date of the beginning of boating season on the lake, as work progresses.
Shikellamy State Park lies on the Susquehanna River and features a marina and boat launch, hiking and biking trails, and an overlook of the river.
The park has several critical infrastructure concerns totaling $56 million, including a marina building awaiting the second phase of its rehabilitation project, parking lot disrepair, riverbank erosion, impacts from flooding, and other green infrastructure needs.
“Today’s visit underscores just how important our state parks are to the recreation and economic needs of the surrounding communities,” Dunn said, noting the delayed boating season and the marina needs. “Shikellamy is one of our beautiful state parks that people visit to relax, recreate and recover. Like other parks and our state forests, it has critical infrastructure needs that must be addressed, so that people have access to trails, clean waterways, healthy outdoor recreation opportunities and so much more on our public lands.”
Dunn noted 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.
Pennsylvania made its last major injection of funding for conservation and 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.
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.
Statewide, outdoor recreation is a $12 billion 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.
Visit DCNR’s website
for more information about outdoor recreation, state parks, and forests.
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