SUNBURY — Two state lawmakers who represent portions of the Valley are vying to gain funds to help state parks, including the Shikellamy State Park, with much needed improvements.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined state Sen. John Gordner and state Rep. Lynda Culver on Oct. 8 for a tour of Shikellamy State Park to assess infrastructure needs.
“This park and our network of state parks and forests are wonderful public resources that are increasingly facing operating challenges because of infrastructure needs,” Dunn said. “Visitor comfort and safety are paramount, and our trails, dams, campgrounds, bridges and educational centers require a financial investment.”
Dunn said for many years officials would “hide the problems,” state parks faced and hoped to continue to get by with the bare minimum.
Gordner said he has always been an advocate for state parks and that he will continue to push for funding. He has introduced a bill, Growing Greener III, that would give state parks about $500 million to use for repairs and upgrades.
Culver said she will also be introducing a bill to help with funding.
Shikellamy State Park has infrastructure concerns totaling $56 million, including a deteriorating marina building, parking lot disrepair, riverbank erosion, impacts from flooding and other green infrastructure needs, Dunn said.
“More people have flocked to the outdoors during the pandemic and we’re seeing many of them return,” Dunn said. “Investing in the outdoors provides healthy, safe recreational opportunities and boosts a key part of Pennsylvania’s economy. It is crucial we do not miss this opportunity to address our infrastructure needs so that the outdoors continue to be a destination for millions of Pennsylvanians and out-of-state visitors.”