Photo by Jon Peterson

DCNR Conservation Landscapes

“Imagine a place where vibrant communities draw strength from their natural assets to sustain their quality of life. A place where citizens care about protecting the special qualities of a region – their region. A place where people and partners band together to envision a better economic future, tackle shared challenges and care for the natural, scenic, and recreational resources that define the place they call home. This is a Conservation Landscape.”

A decade ago the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) launched a “Conservation Landscape” program with the belief that a broader, regional approach could profoundly impact local communities by advancing the protection of important natural assets. Adopting an integrated approach of working with state parks and forests, the landscapes surrounding these public lands, and the communities therein, DCNR’s Conservation Landscape program drives strategic investments around themes of conservation, community revitalization and sustainability in special landscapes across Pennsylvania. DCNR has designated seven Conservation Landscapes within the Commonwealth.

The Conservation Landscape work is value-driven and place-based. The seven unique Conservation Landscapes all contain rich natural assets and important public lands, but equally importantly these regions each have a vibrant local sense of place. As such, DCNR prioritizes a highly collaborative process: by getting community leaders, other state agencies, local governments, philanthropies and nonprofits all engaged around common goals – motivated by a strong sense of place – it is much easier to tackle effective conservation and community revitalization. Though DCNR launched the Conservation Landscapes program and continues to support it, the emphasis is on local partners collaborating in conservation and community revitalization, thereby ensuring community engagement and empowerment.

For more information on DCNR’s innovative Conservation Landscape program – and to learn about the six other Conservation Landscapes within the state – please click here.

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