Thinking of parkland in Pennsylvania evokes images of lush forests and rolling mountains. We think of the often breathtaking 300,000 acres of state parks, bearing names like Promised Land, Bald Eagle, and Worlds End.
And for the state with a namesake derived from Penn’s Woods, perhaps one of our Commonwealth’s greatest assets is access to parkland, even in our densest cities. From the winding trails of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia to the shores of Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania’s cities also have an abundance of beautiful spaces—ensuring green space is within reach of nearly every Pennsylvanian.
Our urban parks and recreation systems aren’t without their unique challenges. Beyond passive use recreation, we use these spaces to celebrate, to protest, to dance, and to compete. It’s these spaces that are very backbone of our cities—and investment in these spaces is as critical as ever.
That’s why in 2017 PRPS ramped up the Pennsylvania Urban Alliance for Parks & Recreation—our collective effort to recognize the needs faced by park and recreation system in denser regions of the Commonwealth. Already, dozens of municipalities are joining our movement, and we’re looking to keep the progress going!
Whether you live in a small village with a town square or a burgeoning metropolis with a network of parks and recreation facilities—the Urban Alliance is looking to grow our voices throughout Pennsylvania. Urban Alliance members assist in advocacy, programming, and event planning to strengthen this critical network and share best practices across the state. Just last month, Urban Alliance members came together in Allentown and Pittsburgh to discuss our collective challenges—and discuss potential solution sets moving forward.
But for this work to reach maximum impact, we need voices from across the Commonwealth. To find out more about the Urban Alliance—or to consider getting involved, visit our website at goodforpa.com/urban/ and let’s work together to ensure the spirit of Penn’s Woods lives on for years to come.