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Tell us how you enjoy the outdoors to help make Pennsylvania's parks and trails even better

Updated: 4 days ago

You can shape Pennsylvania's Five Year Outdoor Recreation Plan by completing DCNR's survey by May 22. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or just an occasional user, we want to hear from you.


Pennsylvania is developing its next 5 year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) to update the 2020-2024 SCORP (found here). A key step in the planning process centers on understanding how people use the outdoors, and this includes asking members of the public to complete a short survey. So far, about 5000 people have completed the open public survey, and we are really hoping to get at least another 3000 surveys completed before it closes on May 22. You can complete the open public survey here (a Spanish language version can be found here). As one of about two dozen non-public community-based organizations on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) tasked with developing the plan, we can really appreciate why the survey is important.


The open public survey is one of several ways that the TAC gathers information on usage: we will also utilize a more traditional survey involving interviews of a sample selected to be representative of the general population (like political polls), as well as a survey of providers and meetings with key stakeholder groups. Comparing the results obtained across the different surveys offers insights into the interests and behaviors of different subgroups. For example, we can assume that those who complete the open public survey are more likely to include those who utilize the outdoors more often - a group we might describe as high users. This group is more likely to spend more time (and inject more money into the economy!), and take full advantage of all of the benefits of being outdoors. In contrast, the more traditional survey will capture the interests and behaviors of the typical user.


Having these different surveys is really important to getting a complete picture of everyone's interests, because high users and typical users may use the outdoors in different ways. For example, high users might to be more willing to travel further to spend more time in more natural settings and so might utilize (and value) state parks and forests more more. In contrast often, more typical users might stay loser to home, and so using (and valuing) municipal and county parks. Understanding the behavior of high users can help us to better appreciate the potential impact of our parks, trails, and open spaces.


Kennett Outdoors is one of several members of the TAC with a special interest in people with disabilities, and so we will be eager to learn more about the barriers people report experience in accessing the outdoors. We are also are excited because the survey also includes questions about the use of paths, trails, and related infrastructure for active transportation. So please, complete the survey and let us know what is important to you!

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