(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — State Park visitors across the commonwealth will soon be able to have access to free sunscreen, part of an expansion of a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) program.

“Protection from ultraviolet rays is critical as the weather warms and we spend more time outdoors,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “With Memorial Day Weekend here, we want to promote safe outdoor activity and remind outdoors enthusiasts that more than 8,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each day. We are again extremely grateful that the Department of Health (DOH) and its Division of Cancer Prevention is partnering with us to support and expand this important project that has a tremendous impact across the commonwealth.”

According to the DCNR, pole-mounted, battery-operated dispensers, with 30+ SPF sunscreen, will soon be available at 33 state parks, including Presque Isle State Park:

  • Bald Eagle
  • Beltzville
  • Black Moshannon
  • Blue Knob
  • Caledonia
  • Canoe Creek
  • Chapman
  • Codorus
  • Cowans Gap
  • Frances Slocum
  • French Creek
  • Greenwood Furnace
  • Gifford Pinchot
  • Hills Creek
  • Keystone
  • Lackawanna
  • Laurel Hill
  • Little Buffalo
  • Marsh Creek
  • Moraine
  • Mt. Pisgah
  • Neshaminy
  • Nockamixon
  • Ohiopyle
  • Pine Grove Furnace
  • Poe Valley
  • Presque Isle
  • Racoon Creek
  • Ricketts Glen
  • Shawnee
  • Shikellamy
  • Tobyhanna
  • Tuscarora

DCNR’s sunscreen program began in 2017 at two state parks — Codorus and Pine Grove Furnace. The DCNR reports the program now has the potential to reach an estimated 1.5 million visitors this season.

“Our sunscreen program is key in helping park visitors prevent harmful exposure to the sun,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “We look forward to seeing millions of visitors this summer season and encourage visitors to take advantage of the free sunscreen offering as they enjoy state parks.”

Daily application of sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher can aid in the prevention of skin cancer. Health officials report that one in 40 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime.

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A cancer prevention fund from DOH covers the costs of the sunscreen. The DCNR reports it is pursuing opportunities to partner with local health organizations and healthcare system providers to cover future costs and to further expand the program.