The Pennsylvania Highlands has some of the most beautiful and best-loved state parks anywhere in the country- places like French Creek State Park, Evansburg State Park, Nockamixon State Park. The management and protection of those parks is carried out by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and their excellent work means that we have an outstanding array of recreational opportunities in our 117 state parks.
This week, John Norbeck, who manages the state park system within DCNR, announced that he will be resigning from his position within the month. While the reasons for his departure are unclear, we are sorry to see him go. During the six years that Norbeck
ran the park system, Pennsylvania was awarded the National Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association. The award honors DCNR's park planning and management as well as Norbeck's promotion of parks and outdoor recreation through initiatives like Get Outdoors PA. Under his direction, state parks attracted 38.4 million visitors a year, who spent a total of $859 million, according to a report by the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State. That same report also showed that Pennsylvania's park system
supports 12,630 jobs.
Norbeck made the proper management and protection of our state's resources a top priority during his time at DCNR, and was successful at promoting recreation in our parks system. Whoever replaces him will need to demonstrate that same commitment to protecting our state's parks for the enjoyment of future generations of Pennsylvanians.
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