Harrisburg, PA – With the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicking off the traditional start of the camping season, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that the 2018 camping and swimming season will usher in new “Smoke Free Beaches” at six state parks in Pennsylvania.
“Success of our initial goals, as well as feedback from park visitors across the state, encouraged us to continue expanding the ‘Smoke-Free’ Beach areas this season,” Dunn said. “With the addition of the six, we now have smoking restrictions at 43 of our 54 state park swim beaches.”
Latest state park additions are:
- Clear Creek, Jefferson County
- Presque Isle, Beach No. 11, Erie County
- Pymatuning, Jamestown Campground Beach, Crawford County
- Raccoon Creek, Beaver County
- Shawnee, Bedford County
- Yellow Creek, Indiana County
Surveys, feedback to park managerial staff, and reservation information all played a key role in the department’s decision to continue expanding a policy that began in 2013. Beach restrictions consistently have been hailed by visitors for significantly improving air quality and reducing cigarette-butt litter, Dunn said.
“It was this same ongoing bid to gauge the pulse of the public that led our Bureau of State Parks to also expand its ‘pet-friendly’ camping policy,” Dunn noted. “From the outset of this program in 2001, with nine parks participating, we now have included campsites and cabins to the point where all of our state parks that provide camping now have sections designated for pets.
Dunn also said park campers can expect improved RV accessibility, new facilities, and other major improvements at many state parks. An online, enhanced reservation system helps them find exactly what they are seeking.
Park beach visitors are reminded smoking constraints at designated parks eliminate smoking on beaches and at swimming areas. For visitors who smoke and still want to use these beaches, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided.
Restrictions include cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and the increasingly popular e-cigarettes. Staff at newly affected parks have been preparing for the change by purchasing and installing butt disposal units; installing new signage; establishing designated smoking areas with seating; and informing park user and support groups.