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Gov. Corbett signs long-term agreement for public/private partnership at Elk Country Visitor Center in Pennsylvania Wilds
Governor Tom Corbett signed a 35-year agreement with the non-profit Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA) for operation of Elk Country Visitor Center in Elk County, cementing a public/private partnership that was begun before the center first opened in 2010.

The Elk Country Visitor Center is nestled on 245-acres owned by DCNR in Benezette. KECA, a Pennsylvania-based wildlife conservation organization, operates the center without state funding. KECA raises operational revenue through services such as gift shop sales, theater tickets, wagon and sleigh rides and other special events.

“This is a great partnership between government and a non-profit organization to continue to improve and expand the resources and services that DCNR provides to our citizens, and ensure a quality visitor experience at the Elk Country Visitor Center,” Corbett said. Read more...

New visitor center for Delaware Canal State Park planned in New Hope, Bucks County
DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti has announced that the department is proceeding with plans to construct a new park office and visitor center for Delaware Canal State Park in the Borough of New Hope, Bucks County. Read more...

Region recognizes ‘Champions of the Pennsylvania Wilds’
More than 130 business and community leaders from across the Pennsylvania Wilds gathered May 15 to get an update on the state and local effort to grow the region’s outdoor recreation economy, and to honor 10 organizations and individuals for outstanding work in conservation and sustainable tourism development. Read more...

DCNR visits with children from early childhood learning center in Harrisburg
Secretary Ellen Ferretti, along with DCNR educators, conducted a number of learning activities related to nature and the outdoors with pre-school children from the Hildebrandt Early Learning Center at the Finance Building in Harrisburg on Tuesday. Read more...

DCNR to hold open house to plan exhibits for Kinzua Bridge State Park office/visitor center
DCNR will hold an open house meeting for stakeholders and interested members of the public on June 18 to help plan the interpretive exhibits that will be included in a new park office/visitor center at Kinzua Bridge State Park, McKean County. Read more...

Pennsylvania celebrates ‘Get Outdoors Month’ with myriad events
Outdoor recreation areas across Pennsylvania will be hosting special events and activities during June as part of a statewide Get Outdoors Month observance, DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. Read more...

Schuylkill River celebration highlights ‘Pa. Rivers Month’ activities
Plans for fun on the Schuylkill River—from canoes and kayaks slicing though headwaters to leisurely tube floats in urban environs—is expected to draw hundreds of paddlers, campers and other outdoors enthusiasts to a rebounding waterway named River of the Year for 2014.. Read more...

Also in the News

Pa. trails in the spotlight for National Trails Day
Pennsylvanians were able to discover, celebrate and learn about trails throughout the state on National Trails Day, June 7. Since 1993, the first Saturday of every June is known as National Trails Day, inspiring the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to celebrate, discover and learn about America's trail system.

For the first time this year, Pennsylvania named a Trail of the Year. For 2014 this distinction was awarded to Redbank Valley Trails in Armstrong, Clarion and Jefferson counties.

This new designation is coordinated by DCNR’s Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee to elevate public awareness of the thousands of miles of trails available for public enjoyment in Pennsylvania. To honor the Trail of the Year, a commemorative poster has been created. It can be viewed and ordered here.

Pennsylvania has a website to help people search, view, map and share information about trails at Listed on the site’s calendar are events and activities that will recognize National Trails Day. More than 10,900 miles of Pennsylvania trails have been mapped and made available on the website.

Grant received for new outdoor classroom at Elk Center
A new outdoor classroom for the Elk Country Visitor Center will be supported in part by a $100,000 grant to the Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA) from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund. Construction of the 40 x 80 ft. outdoor classroom began recently at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette. The facility is expected to be completed in time for the grand opening celebration during the August 16 and 17 Elk Expo.

KECA is a Pennsylvania based wildlife conservation organization that operates the Elk Country Visitor Center in partnership with DCNR.

WPPSEF provided funding for the facility’s energy savings components such as the highly efficient biomass boiler. The high tech biomass boiler, designed in Sweden, will be used to heat the classroom using cord wood readily available on site. For more information on the Elk Country Visitor Center go here.

Donation effort aids three state parks
Shoppers helped out three state parks in southeastern Pennsylvania through a March donation effort held by Macy’s department stores and the National Recreation and Park Association.

The benefit “Love Your Park” effort was part of Macy’s ongoing “Secret Garden” campaign, designed to raise awareness and funding for local and state parks across the nation. A total of $1,214 was raised for distribution among the parks as part of their park-specific donation funds. Shoppers at the Macy’s Store in Langhorne donated $714 on behalf of Tyler State Park. Shoppers at the Macy’s Store in Springfield donated $250 on behalf of Ridley Creek State Park, and shoppers at the Macy’s Store in Bensalem donated $250 on behalf of Neshaminy State Park. Macy’s had asked shoppers to “love” the parks by donating $1.00 or more at the register when they make in-store purchases through March 31. The department store chain has pledged $250,000 total in matching funds to state parks across the nation.

Agency Spotlight

Archbald Pothole
This park has a geologic curiousity from the last ice age. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Logging History Hike at Tiadaghton State Forest
June 14. Held 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The Tiadaghton Forest Resource Management Center will sponsor 4 mile strenuous hike on the Log Slide Trail. The hike will start in the Center with a short talk about the history of logging in the Pine Creek Valley and will last 3-4 hours. The hike begins and ends at the Center, located just north of Waterville on Rte. 44. Please register by email with Rich Hill or email for more information.

For more DCNR events, go here.

June 11, 2014

Agency Spotlight

Archbald Pothole

Archbald Pothole

This park has a geologic curiousity from the last ice age. Read more...

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