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Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Announces Statewide Stakeholder Meetings During Visit to Scranton Outdoor Retail Shops

03/06/2023

Scranton, PA -- The Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation today announced a series of statewide stakeholder meetings on efforts to unite, grow, and strengthen Pennsylvania’s outdoor economy -- a sector that adds nearly $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

"We are excited to connect with businesses, nonprofits, community organizations and other relevant stakeholders to hear from them about how to maximize the hidden value outdoor recreation has in the Commonwealth," Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Nathan Reigner said during a visit to Scranton outdoor retail shops today. “It is critical that we support the growth of the outdoor recreation sector to help improve health and wellness, conservation efforts, job creation, and so much more.”

The stakeholder meetings will begin Wednesday, March 29 at York College’s Center for Community Engagement in York County. The listening tour will conclude Thursday, April 27 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park in Erie. 

Other stakeholder meetings include the following:

  • Wednesday, April 5 -- John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
  • Thursday, April 6 -- Nurture Nature Center
  • Tuesday, April 11 -- Conewango Club
  • Wednesday, April 12 -- Lycoming College
  • Thursday, April 13 -- Montage Mountain
  • Tuesday, April 25 -- Frick Environmental Center
  • Wednesday, April 26 -- Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center

Contact the Director of Outdoor Recreation for more information about the meetings.

Friday’s visit to Scranton Running Company and Cedar Bicycle helped highlight the importance of small businesses to the Commonwealth’s robust outdoor economy. Bicycling in Pennsylvania accounts for $142 million in economic value, which ranks fifth across the U.S. for the activity.

“Businesses like these connect people to opportunities to recreate outside and build outdoor recreation into our daily lives,” Reigner said. “We are hopeful that we can harness the community that is built through running, biking and other outdoor recreation activities to broaden the benefits and impact of this important piece of our economy.”

“We're here for one reason and that's because we truly love what we do,” said Kyle Brazen, co-manager and part owner of Cedar Bicycles. “We love talking and fixing bikes. This is our community, and we want to make it a better place through biking of all types and supporting outdoor recreation.”

“We embrace people's desires for quality products, and we work to provide the best experience for our customers,” said Matt Byrne, co-founder and co-owner of Scranton Running Company. “We try to invest in the process with our customers and show that we are in this together. That has built up business and also made a tremendous impact in the local running community and we are grateful for that support.”

To assist with the mission of growing the outdoor recreation economy, DCNR and other state agencies are developing an Office of Outdoor Recreation, which would be responsible for coordinating and synergizing among entities within and connected to state government to help align and support strategic initiatives, partnerships, policies, resources, and more.

The agencies also have created the Recreation Engagement Coalition (REC) that includes members from across Pennsylvania with local, regional and statewide influence and expertise in the outdoor recreation sector representing multiple disciplines.

Pennsylvania has the sixth largest outdoor recreation economy in the nation, supported by a combination of its exceptional recreational assets, an economy that is generally diverse in sources of revenue, active participation by Pennsylvania residents, and strong retail, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.

The nearly $14 billion in economic value the sector adds also supports 152,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. Nationally, outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output, accounting for approximately 3 percent of all jobs in America.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information on Pennsylvania’s efforts to grow the outdoor recreation economy, and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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