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Elk Country Visitor Center honored for energy conservation achievement
Pennsylvania's widely acclaimed Elk Country Visitor Center has earned independent honors for energy efficiency and environmental design, DCNR Secretary Richard Allan announced last week.

"We are proud to learn yet another major DCNR Pennsylvania Wilds project has been awarded Gold LEED status by the U.S. Green Building Council,” Allan said. “Similar recognition recently was extended to the new Nature Inn at Bald Eagle in Centre County and the Tiadaghton State Forest Resource Management Center in Lycoming County."

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized mark of design, construction and maintenance excellence that seeks to ensure buildings reflect the highest environmental and energy efficiency. Read more...

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail bridge over turnpike opens
Eagerly awaited by snowmobiling and winter hiking enthusiasts, the new Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset opened Saturday, Jan. 28. Read more...

Swatara State Park targeted for trail installation, other improvements
A long-awaited construction project that will see trails, parking areas and bridges installed at Swatara State Park in Lebanon and Schuylkill counties is now under way, the DCNR said last week. Read more...

Stonycreek River voted Pennsylvania's 2012 River of the Year
The Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties, has been named the 2012 River of the Year following public, online voting across the state. Read more...

DCNR establishing new advisory committee on trails
DCNR Secretary Richard Allan recently announced that the department is forming a new Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee to assist the Commonwealth in efforts to build a statewide network of land and water trails. Read more...

DCNR invites students to apply for summer Environmental Careers Camp
Young Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing environmental careers are invited to apply by April 1 for DCNR's summer residential camp, DCNR Secretary Richard Allan said recently. Read more...

Eight rural Pennsylvania businesses and organizations awarded PA Wilds grants
A variety of businesses and organizations looking to improve the look of their property with guidance from the PA Wilds Design Guide have been awarded mini-grants through a popular program offered by the PA Wilds Planning Team. Read more...

Also in the News

State parks mark new year with ‘First Day Hikes’ across Pennsylvania
Helping visitors ring in 2012 with healthy exercise and a glimpse of nature’s winter beauty, the Bureau of State Parks sponsored free, guided hikes in 13 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

Organized by the National Association of State Park Directors, the nationwide, New Year’s Day hikes originated more than 20 years ago in Milton, Mass. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks. State involvement has to grown to the point where, for the first time in 2012, all 50 state park systems have joined together to sponsor First Day Hikes.

Pennsylvania State Park staff and volunteers lead the hikes, which were about one or two miles. For more information, visit

Sustainable Backyard Landscape series to kick off in March
A workshop series focusing on backyard sustainability will be offered throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2012. The series is sponsored by DCNR, the Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The series includes:

Registration information is available at the links. All program fees include lunch and program materials. For more information, contact Vincent Cotrone, Penn State Forester, at (570) 825-1701; or Diane Madl, DCNR State Parks, at (570) 403-2006.

Agency Spotlight

William Penn State Forest
This forest is where Penn's Woods to speak.

Upcoming Events

Bendigo Snow Festival at Bendigo State Park
A Get Outdoors PA eventFeb. 4. Held noon - 4:00 p.m. Tired of being inside and want to do something outside? Join in the fun at Bendigo State Park’s Annual Snow Festival! Events include snow box derby, sledding, winter survival demonstration, tree identification, ice fishing demo, and more. Learn to cross-country ski, snowshoe, or try geocaching! Local scout groups will be selling hot chocolate and hot dogs. For more information, call (814) 965-2646.

For more DCNR events, go here.

February 1, 2012

Agency Spotlight

William Penn State Forest

William Penn State Forest

This forest is where Penn's Woods to speak.

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