DCNR Recognizes Employees Going Above and Beyond to Support Agency Mission
DCNR Recognizes Employees Going Above and Beyond to Support Agency Mission
Newsletter of the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
July 24, 2019
Deputy Secretary Mike Walsh, Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund, Deputy Secretary John Norbeck
Featured in Our Good Natured Blog
DCNR Recognizes Employees Going Above and Beyond to Support Agency Mission 
This year, DCNR employees once again have gone above and beyond to further the goals of the agency. They were rewarded by being recognized by their peers and supervisors for efforts, including:
  • Accomplishing critical daily duties
  • Taking the lead in emergency situations
  • Assisting with criminal investigations
  • Coordinating educational programming to better connect the public with nature
  • Launching online tools to support DCNR partners, grantees, and the public
“The annual DCNR employee recognition awards shed light on recent important efforts coming from our agency, and highlight the individuals and teams driving this great work,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Our employees are enthusiastic, professional, and passionate, and I’m proud to lead such a strong, forward-thinking team.”
More than 50 employees received 15 awards personally by Dunn at the 2019 awards ceremony in the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. Read more...
DCNR officials tour the newly aquired property, including the 18 acre lake
486 Acres of Land Preserved in New Addition to Delaware State Forest
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Bureau of Forestry and other state officials in dedicating a 486-acre addition to Delaware State Forest. She discussed how the Restore Pennsylvania proposal is essential to similar infrastructure improvements throughout the state.
Used as Boy Scout camp from the 1950s until the 1990s, the property off Route 739 contains an 18-acre natural lake.
The preservation of this unique and special Pike County property is the culmination of many people working together in an effort to protect such a wonderful landscape vital to the plant and wildlife habitat.
DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry acquired the site in September of 2013. Pike County received a DCNR grant which it matched with $1.2 million via Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program, and subsequently transferred the property to DCNR for permanent protection and management. Read more
Washington Crossing Historic Park Mnager Jennifer Brooks
DCNR Names New Manager at Washington Crossing Historic Park
Jennifer Park, former assistant manager at Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County, has been appointed manager of Washington Crossing Historic park, also in Bucks County.
The new manager oversees the newest of Pennsylvania’s state parks, which was transferred to DCNR from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission in early 2016.
“A true ‘people person,’ Jennifer is a natural fit for this position at a heavily visited park where historical outreach and educational programs are emphasized,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Honing her managerial and resource skills at Nockamixon, one of our larger state parks, Jen can only add to the visitor experience at Washington Crossing.”
A National Historic Landmark, rich with historic buildings and sites, the 500-acre park lies along the Delaware River and is within Delaware Canal State Park. Read more
DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn addresses the crowd at Colonel Denning State Park
Colonel Denning State Park Campground Improvements Dedicated
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and other officials dedicated new campground facilities at Colonel Denning State Park; and discussed how the Restore Pennsylvania proposal could help address green infrastructure needs in the state.
“This new shower house and other improvements at Colonel Denning bring our campers modern facilities and full-service camping, while maintaining the character and charm of this very popular state park,” Dunn said.
The event marked the completion of a project that included construction of a new shower house and comfort station; removal of the old comfort station and dressing stockade; and improvements to the campground's sanitary dumping station and other infrastructure. Read more
Tyler Fairchild presents an award to a young woman
Good Natured Pennsylvanians
Tyler Fairchild is the Director of the Shippensburg Community Parks and Recreation Department. A Shippensburg native, he has continually worked to support local parks and recreation throughout his life.
In high school, he started working at the public pool as a lifeguard. After that, he got involved in coaching youth sports, working summer camps, and working for the park maintenance department. “During my years working in parks and recreation, I developed a passion for it,” he says.
Like many Pennsylvanians, he enjoys being outdoors and taking advantage of the many recreation opportunities his department works to provide.
Those experiences help to fuel his passion for his work. Tyler understands how important a quality parks and recreation department is to the public. “I care a lot about the well-being of our community; and want to provide the best quality parks and recreational opportunities.”
There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into providing things like safe playgrounds and accessible and educational programing. The parks and recreation professionals that work to deliver these things are at the core that effort. 
Tyler says that, “residents should be aware of the countless hours that are spent by parks and recreation professionals. Hours spent on administrative duties, programing, facility coordination, and many other areas.” 
Educational and outreach programs are an informative and popular way for the department to engage the public. They offer classes to learn about different animals, nature journalism, and nature education walks around trails. 
Tyler’s department wanted to get involved in environmental education programing to promote an understanding about the importance of the surrounding environment.
These programs are a vital resource for his community; however, they can be challenging. Tyler wants people to know that most programs and events are only possible through community volunteers.
“Without community volunteers, some programs and events may not be possible,” Tyler says. “I encourage all residents to get involved and volunteer.” 
During his time as a parks and recreation professional, he has seen all the determination and hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
“I have learned that it takes a lot of work and effort to manage programs, events, development projects, and all the many things that go on at parks and recreation department,” he says. “At the end of the day, it is a very rewarding experience and career to have.”
Currently, his department is involved in a Rails-To-Trails Extension Project. Working to extend a current rail trail that connects into downtown Shippensburg, their goal is to connect the trail through the rest of Shippensburg and onto the next town.
Although there is plenty of hard work involved, Tyler enjoys providing a valuable resource to his community. He says that, “The most rewarding experience is seeing the enjoyment on the faces of residents during a community event, program, or while they are visiting our parks.”
Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact us at ra-resource@pa.gov to nominate someone.

Also in the News

An electric vehicle charging station
Learn More about Electric Vehicles at Washington Crossing Historic Park
One of the ways DCNR employs sustainable practices and responsibility for agency resources is by using electric vehicles in its fleet. The department also is providing electric vehicle charging stations at a growing number of state parks and forests throughout the state.
You can learn more about these efforts, the Drive Electric PA Initiative, and see some electric vehicles on Thursday, July 25, at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County.
The event is open to the public. It will run from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., and include a number of educational presentations, panel discussions, and tables with information.
a moth pollinates a butterfly weed plant
Private Landowners Sought for Pollinator Habitat Conservation Project
Are you interested in pollinator conservation while visually, ecologically, and environmentally enhancing your private landscape.
Private landowners with at least once acre of land and who are interested in long-term conservation of monarch, rusty patched bumble bee, and other rare pollinator habitat are encourage to be part of Project Wingspan -- a coordinated effort to enhance land across eight states to support pollinators.
If your land qualifies, a pollinator habitat coordinator will visit your site, free of charge, to evaluate your habitat landscape and offer habitat development guidance. Plant material awards will be given to selected sites for habitat enhancement.
To be considered for the project, you must complete a preliminary online survey by Thursday, August 15.
Applications Being Accepted for Wild Resources Conservation Fund Grants
DCNR is now accepting applications for Wild Resources Conservation Fund Grants. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 23, at 4:00 P.M.
Applications are being accepted for:
  • Climate Change -- Potential climate refugia across the commonwealth and climate change vulnerability analysis
  • Surveys -- Desmodium identification and distribution, Spiny Cheek crayfish assessment, and secretive marsh bird survey
  • Conservation and Management -- Effects of non-native darters on the Chesapeake Logperch, assessing Western Pennsylvania stream readiness for mussel recovery, response of wildlife to fire management, and locating Indiana Bat hibernacula
For all the details and instructions on how to apply, visit the Wild Resource Conservation Fund Grants webpage
Join DCNR at 75th Birthday Bash for Smokey Bear!
In recognition of his historic and continued impact on forest fire prevention, please join DCNR staff, and other state officials in wishing Smokey Bear a happy 75th birthday on Thursday, August 8, 2019, at 1:00 P.M., at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
The celebration will be held at Furnace Stacks Pavilion. Cake and light refreshments will be provided.
We hope you can join us and Smokey at the park to celebrate the longest-running public service national advertising campaign in U.S. history!
Persons legs and feet walk on a sidewalk with grass and a tree beside them
Expanding WalkWorks Program Improves Health of Communities
The WalkWorks program, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, is continuing to grow, adding two new locations, Community Health Council of Lebanon County and East Forest Schools in Forest County.
The goal of the program is to create a network of fun, fact-filled, community-based walking routes and walking groups. WalkWorks:
  • Identifies and promotes safe walking routes
  • Offers social support through guided, community-based walking groups
  • Helps schools develop walk-to-school programs
  • Addresses local policies to increase safe walking routes
Funding for WalkWorks is provided by the DOH through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and the State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mosquitos are an annual annoyance that comes with the arrival of warm, moist weather. Many of Pennsylvania’s native plants hold volatile oils that have a natural ability to repel mosquitos.
You can help keep mosquitos at bay by planting these types if plants:
  • Native mints -- field mint, mountain-mints
  • Bee balms -- wild bergamot, purple bergamot, oswego-tea
  • Ageratums -- mistflower, wild ageratum
  • Sages -- lyre-leaved sage, lance-leaved sage
  • Alliums -- wild onion, nodding onion, wild leek
To activate the repelling powers of these plants, be sure to crush or bruise some the leaves to release the oils before heading out to enjoy the outdoors. Keep them in your pocket and enjoy all-natural bug repellant!
Summer is flying by and there is still so much to see and do! Don’t miss out on a chance to get up close and personal with Pennsylvania state parks on one of these guided hikes:
  • Friday, July 26 -- Explore Parker Dam Southwest -- Parker Dam State Park (9:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.)
  • Saturday, July 27 -- Bog Treasures -- Black Moshannon State Park (3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.)
  • Saturday, July 27 -- Mushroom Hike -- Blue Knob State Park (3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.)
  • Saturday, July 27 -- Bog Slog -- Promised Land State Park (4:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M.)
  • Saturday, July 27 -- Bird Walk -- Hyner Run State Park (5:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.)
  • Sunday, July 28 -- Jonathan Run Hike -- Ohiopyle State Park (10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.)
  • Sunday, July 28 -- Long Loop Hike -- Tuscarora State Park (10:30 A.M. - 2:30 P.M.)
  • Sunday, July 28 -- Sunset Herp Hike -- White Clay Creek Preserve (8:00 P.M. - 9:15 P.M.)
  • Wednesday, July 31 -- Wednesday Morning Stroll -- Cowans Gap State Park (9:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.)
  • Wednesday, July 31 -- Hike for Hounds -- Kooser State Park (7:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.)
  • Thursday, August 1 -- Take a Hike Thursday -- Ricketts Glen State Park (9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M.)
  • Friday, August 2 -- First Friday Walks -- Gifford Pinchot State Park (10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.)
  • Friday, August 2 -- Little Falls Wildflower Hike -- Promised Land State Park (4:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M.)
  • Saturday, August 3 -- Nature Hike -- Trough Creek State Park (1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.)
  • Saturday, August 3 -- Nature Walk for Kids -- Cook Forest State Park (1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.)
  • Sunday, August 4 -- Geocaching Hike -- Hickory Run State Park (10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.)
  • Sunday, August 4 -- Night Hike -- Ohiopyle State Park, Kentuck Campground Amphitheater (8:30 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.) 
  • Tuesday, August 6 -- Appalachian Trail South -- Caledonia State Park (8:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.)

Featured Photo

A humming bird floats in mid-air in front of a pink flower
This ruby-throated hummingbird was seen taking advantage of the mandevilla blooming in a canalside garden at Groundhog Lock in Delaware Canal State Park.
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