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State park surveys asking what you want

Chapman State Park of 2042 could be quite different from what it is today.

In order to find out what people want out of their state parks, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is soliciting comments and asking people to fill out a survey.

The department is going through strategic planning “that will guide the Pennsylvania State Parks over the next 25 years.”

“Your help is needed to guide this important Penn’s Parks for All strategic planning process,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “I encourage you to take the time to give us your thoughts.”

The survey became available in July and closes on Tuesday. It is available at www.pennsparksforall.com or at any state park office.

Questions on the survey touch on categories from what to do if a park’s resources are being harmed by overuse to what kinds of uses and facilities are appropriate.

The department is also looking to the public for input on how to pay for state parks. There has never been an entrance fee for state parks, and funding is becoming a problem, according to DCNR. State parks receive about one-sixth of 1 percent of the dollars in the Pennsylvania general fund budget.

“The total need for all major maintenance projects in state parks is more than $500 million,” according to DCNR.

According to Chapman State Park Manager Tyson Martin, the department has already received over 12,000 electronic surveys and 3,000 hard copies.

When the public survey closes, DCNR will move into the next phase of gathering information. The department will reach out to stakeholders and partner groups, seeking comment regarding their particular areas of expertise and interest.

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