Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests protect our water supplies, provide a steady and reliable source of timber to the wood products industry, support critical wildlife habitat, and present tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Each year, tens of millions of visitors explore Pennsylvania’s natural beauty in State Parks and Forests.
- State Parks – The primary purpose of our award-winning State Parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthy outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. Pennsylvania has 120 state parks that total more than 200,000 acres. Each year, these facilities receive 34 million visits.
- State Forests – Our 2.1 million acres of publicly-owned forest lands are independently certified as being sustainably managed. The mission of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, which manages the forest on behalf of the public, is to ensure the long-term health, viability, and productivity of the Commonwealth’s forests and to conserve native wild plants.
Our State Parks and Forests need regular capital improvements to meet the needs of their tens of millions of users. The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund provides funding critical for rehabilitating and upgrading State Park and Forest infrastructure, serving both to conserve the resource and ensure a safe and healthy setting for public recreation and environmental education. The nine categories of Keystone-funded Park and Forest projects address health, safety, and natural resource protection and conservation priorities. Well over $100 million of Keystone funding has been spent on tens of hundreds of improvement projects in our state parks and forests. The nine categories are shown below, with some project examples for each:
1. Campsites and Cottages
- Campground and campsite rehabilitation and electrification and cabin rehabilitation
- Purchase of fire-rings, grills, and playground equipment
2. Resource Management
- Reforestation, park rehabilitation, reforestation, and removal of hazard tress
- Stream liming, stream bank stabilization, and construction of riparian buffers
- Wildlife habitat work and invasive control and pest control projects
- Beach rehabilitation
3. Flood and Emergency
- Repair damage to hiking and snowmobile trails
- Stream bank restoration
- Debris removal
4. Park and Forest Buildings
- Classroom and museum repairs and additions
- Improvements to and construction of visitors’ centers
- ADA building upgrades
- Swimming pool repairs
5. Comfort Stations and Shower Houses
- Construction of restroom facilities and pool showers
- Construction and rehabilitation of dams on state park land
- Structural and storm damage repairs
7. Roads and Bridges
- Park and forest road rehabilitation
- Installation and replacement of guide rails on bridges
8. Trails and outdoor recreation
- Playground equipment and picnic tables
- Construction of ADA fishing piers
- Trail construction and rehabilitation
9. Water and sewer projects
- Water systems rehabilitation and emergency water line repairs
- Installation of water fountains
For spreadsheets showing Keystone Fund spending in each state park and state forest visit this link.
Maps showing relative spending amounts of Keystone funds in state parks and forests can be found here.