FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 17, 2010
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation Visits
Pymatuning State Park to Recognize
Prestigious National Gold Medal Award for State Parks
JAMESTOWN, PA- The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF) today is visiting Pymatuning State Park to celebrate the park system being nationally recognized with a Gold Medal Award as well-managed, innovative and for its leadership in connecting people to nature.
The highest honor for a park system, the award comes from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
“All Pennsylvanians should be proud of this achievement because after all, our state parks belong to all of us,” PPFF President Marci Mowery said. “This tour is part of our Use It, Love It, Help It campaign to raise awareness about the value of state parks and state forests, while also engaging citizens in their parks and forests through recreation and volunteerism.”
Pymatuning is the largest state park in Pennsylvania and offers diverse recreational opportunities throughout its 21,000 acres which includes Pennsylvania's largest reservoir as well at 17,000 acres. Pymatuning includes three campgrounds with over 600 campsites, 25 modern cabins, 12 picnic pavilions, three marinas, 1,500 watercraft mooring sites, five swimming beaches, 11 launch ramps and six boating clubs. In addition, there are two natural areas (725-acre Blackjack Swamp and 161-acre Clark Island) where quiet contemplation of undeveloped ecosystems is encouraged. Pymatuning is a fishing, boating, hunting, and nature watching paradise for over three million visitors yearly.
“The skills of our state park and forest staff to be innovative and creative in managing our lands and reaching out to citizens and communities have been especially critical in these difficult economic times, when everyone is being asked to become more efficient in their operations,” Mowery added. “The many environmental and economic benefits our state parks and forests provide should not be jeopardized. We all need to help.”
“Studies show that state parks are an economic engine for local and state economies, adding $7.62 for each $1 of taxpayer investment in 2008. Preliminary projections for 2009 show that return on investment to be $9.63. That’s a bonus added to the health, recreation, quality of life, habitat and environmental benefits our state parks and forests provide for all Pennsylvanians,” said Mowery.
Mowery advises people love and help their parks by voicing their support, volunteering their time, and getting involved with one of the 27 Friends groups or the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Conservation Volunteer Program (www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cons/).
“Last year alone, Friends volunteers across the state provided over 32,000 hours of service to state parks and forests. Our volunteers don’t replace park staff efforts, but serve to augment them,” Mowery noted.
During PPFF visits to 33 parks, the Gold Medal will be on display. Citizens are being invited to an event at each park to learn more about their local state park and how they can help. A video is being shown that highlights the innovative approaches in Pennsylvania to management and outreach that resulted in the award.
PPFF staff will blog about our state parks as they travel throughout the state.
About the PA Parks & Forests Foundation/ PaParksAndForests.org
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is a non-profit that supports Pennsylvania’s 117 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities and donations to encourage recreation, healthier life styles, education, land acquisition, and natural/cultural resources. PPFF helps maximize the economic and environmental benefits from our parks and forests. Founded in 1999, PPFF has 27 chapters.
For more information, visit www.PaParksAndForests.org and follow us on Facebook.
*See attached summary of economic significance for Pymatuning State Park.
Visitation data and spending averages from 2008 were used to generate estimates for the economic significance of visitor spending across the entire PA State Park system and for individual parks within the system. The Money Generation Model 2 (MGM2) adopted by the National Park Service as well as other State Park systems was used to calculate these estimates.
For Pymatuning State Park, visitors (both local and non-local) spent an estimated $46,074,000 on their trips to this park in 2008. This spending resulted in $68,586,000 in sales, contributing to 1,177 jobs with $23,360,000 in labor income, and $36,189,000 in value added.
Definition of Terms…
• Sales represent the sales of businesses in the region with the exception that sales in the retail trade sector are only the retail margins on retail sales and therefore exclude the cost of goods sold. Wholesale margins that accrue to Pennsylvania firms are included at the state level, but are excluded when estimating impacts on local regions.
• Jobs are not full time equivalents but include full and part time jobs, consistent with employment estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• Income is measured as labor income which includes wages and salaries, payroll benefits, and income of sole proprietors.
• Value added includes labor income as well as profits and rents and indirect business taxes. Value added is the preferred measure of the contribution of an activity or industry to gross state product as it measures the value added by that activity/industry net of the costs of all non-labor inputs to production.
From the draft report: The Economic Significance and Impact of Pennsylvania State Parks: An Assessment of Visitor Spending on the State and Regional Economy, Penn State University, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, 2010.
Contact: Andrew J. Mowen, Ph.D. – Penn State University, amowenat(@)psu.edu; Dave Sariano, Bureau of State Parks, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, dsarianoat(@)state.pa.us