Pennsylvania’s new Office of Outdoor Recreation was recently created as Governor Josh Shapiro signed into law Pennsylvania’s single largest investment in parks and forests in decades to the tune of $112 million in the FY23-24 budget. ORR President, Jessica Turner, attended and introduced Governor Shapiro at the Yough River Park event marking the 20th State Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) created across the United States.
Outdoor recreation generates $13.6 billion for the Commonwealth’s economy, is 1.6% of its GDP, and creates 151,531 jobs, making it the largest state by both population and outdoor recreation economy size to create an OREC. Dr. Nathan Reigner, the current Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation, will continue as director of the new office and work to leverage Pennsylvania’s myriad outdoor recreation assets with stakeholder groups from anglers and hunters to hikers and mountain bikers, and more to continue to build and improve the state’s outdoor recreation economy.
ORR’s President, Jessica Turner lauded the announcement saying, “Pennsylvania is the most populous state to create such an office and clearly recognizes the role outdoor recreation plays in the Commonwealth’s public health, quality of life, and economic competitiveness. We are delighted to celebrate the new Office of Outdoor Recreation as well as the historic investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure and look forward to supporting communities all across the state as they grow their outdoor recreation economies and rural development opportunities, and increase access for all residents and visitors.”
“People and organizations across the Commonwealth see the need for statewide coordination to connect communities to meaningful and competitive growth opportunities,” said Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Nathan Reigner, who will lead the Office of Outdoor Recreation. “We have gathered a significant amount of input and will continue to engage with stakeholders and communities to build up the sixth largest outdoor recreation economy of the 50 states, while maintaining the fun and adventure the outdoors provides.”