Harrisburg, PA – On Thursday, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn unveiled new “Nature for All” trailhead signs as part of the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy for the public lands.

“These signs are a visible reminder of DCNR’s commitment to conserve and maintain Pennsylvania’s public natural resources for the benefit of all people, as stated in Pennsylvania’s Constitution by way of its Environmental Rights Amendment,” Dunn said. “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to be a critical focus within DCNR so that ‘Nature for All’ is a reality. We must create the necessary conditions to ensure all Pennsylvanians feel welcome on public lands.”

Research by the DCNR has shown that women, people of color, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community are underrepresented in exploring the state’s outdoor spaces and in conservation organizations. The signs are a way to promote better experiences for these underrepresented groups.

DCNR has also taken additional action to address DEI on public lands, including:

  • An ongoing employee training program
  • Utilizing GIS mapping to improve equity in grantmaking
  • Studying park and open space access across the state
  • Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into the daily work of all areas within the agency.

Making the outdoors more accessible for everyone is a part of DCNR’s ​Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan and the Penn’s Parks for All strategic plan.

“I want to make clear that these signs are a part of concerted efforts to welcome all to public lands at DCNR,” Dunn said. “Our goal is to address the disparities in access to these resources and to build equitable experiences and opportunities for all of our visitors. We are working to implement new approaches, policies, programs and other new ideas within our ranks and through our Next Gen Council.”

The department is also taking internal steps to address DEI within its ranks to providing inclusive and equitable programs and services and working to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

To learn more information about DCNR’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, click HERE.

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