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DCNR Highlights How Governor Shapiro’s Budget Would Help with Infrastructure Needs at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County


​Howard, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn visited Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County to call attention to the park’s infrastructure needs and how Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed budget would address outdated facilities and public safety preparedness across the state.

The Governor’s budget would provide $112 million to maintain and improve infrastructure in parks and forests, which would be the single largest investment in decades. In addition, the budget proposes $2.8 million to support operating needs for the management and safety of our public lands.

“A campground upgrade and projects focused on public health underway at Bald Eagle are among the many improvements that are being made to provide visitors modern facilities and full-service camping,” Secretary Dunn said. “These types of infrastructure projects are essential to meeting visitor expectations and providing for their safety, and the money in the Governor’s budget is critical in addressing infrastructure needs of our state forests and state parks throughout Pennsylvania.”

The 5,900-acre Bald Eagle State Park is a gateway to the Pennsylvania Wilds in the northcentral region of the state with about half a million visitors annually. A large lake laps the flanks of Bald Eagle Mountain, which is surrounded by forests, fields, and wetlands. With two campgrounds, boating, fishing, swimming, the Nature Inn, and diverse habitats that are excellent for wildlife watching, the park is great for daytrips and family vacations year-round.

Bald Eagle State Park has $18.5 million in infrastructure needs including upgrading the sewage treatment plant, replacing water main pumps, modernizing the campground showerhouse, providing larger sites in the campground with utilities for RVs, and maintenance of the exterior of the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle.

“Improved facilities will make this park more energy efficient, which is great for the environment and also saves money over the long run,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Mike Walsh said.

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.

“Bald Eagle State Park, one of the largest in the state, has been of enormous benefit to the local economy. It provides for a wide range of recreational activities and has become an important resource for migratory birds and waterfowl,” said Mark Ott, Howard Fire Co Swiftwater Rescue Tech, EMT and Fire Police Captain. “The Howard Fire Company has benefited from the park as a location to hold our annual Punkin Chunkin Fall Festival. In addition, the company uses park facilities for water and ice rescue training for the County Swiftwater Rescue Team. The park gets heavy use and needs repairs, upgrades, and refreshing, as is the case for most of our state parks. It behooves us to keep these jewels shining for future generations.”

Outdoor recreation contributes nearly $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, accounting for 152,000 jobs. For every dollar invested in state parks, $12.41 returns to the Commonwealth.

DCNR manages 124 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.

Find more information about Bald Eagle State Park on the DCNR website. Check DCNR’s Calendar of Events for happenings on public lands.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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