The PA DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation has developed five green principles for park development and sustainability. These principles guide readers in:
- Maintaining and enhancing trees and natural landscaping (PDF)
- Connecting people to nature (PDF)
- Managing stormwater naturally (PDF)
- Conserving energy (PDF)
- Integrating green design and construction (PDF)
A green infrastructure plan examines how communities function in their watershed and identifies specific locations where GI practices can:
- reduce combined sewer overflows
- reduce legacy sediments
- minimize flooding
- improve riparian habitat
Plans can include one or multiple municipalities or address a specific property or project. Carlisle Borough's Stormwater Park is a good example of a park that has used GI to leverage multiple funding sources. (see attached fact sheet)
Tools and Resources for Green and Sustainable Parks
DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation provides tools and resources to help communities and organizations achieve green and sustainable practices on their public sites.
Creating Sustainable Community Parks and Landscapes: A Guide to Improving Quality of Life by Protecting Natural Resources, Second Edition (PDF) is a DCNR guidebook that:
- Outlines the benefits of enhancing the natural resources in local parks
- Explains how to maintain parks in a sustainable manner
- Provides a step-by-step guide to help park staff achieve those results.
Cost Benefit Analysis Web Page
The DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation offers calculators, tools, models, and fact sheets to assist with determining whether to install green infrastructure practices on your site.
- Calculators and Resources (PDF) -- A selection of cost benefit calculators on various green infrastructure practices created by different organizations.
- PA Mowing Calculator (XLS) -- This calculator has been created for public and private land owners who regularly care for lawns. This tool calculates fuel, dollar, greenhouse gas, and other savings associated with changing current mowing practices.
- Green Infrastructure (PDF) -- A variety of fact sheets on various green infrastructure practices created by CH2M Hill, Inc. for the City of Lancaster's Green Infrastructure Plan (PDF).
PA Green Community Parks Map
This map from DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation features community parks across Pennsylvania that have incorporated best practices in green and sustainable design, operations, and maintenance.
The map also lists parks that have been nominated and selected for the annual Green Park Award from DCNR and the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society.