On Tuesday, Dec. 21, the DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation (BRC) will bid farewell to one of its most committed and impactful employees: Diane Kripas.

For more than 30 years, Diane’s standout career has made her a true trailblazer throughout Pennsylvania. She served as a regional advisor, worked with county planners to develop their first greenway and trail plans, and lead the development and implementation of Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation plan.

She retires as chief of BRC’s Partnerships Division, where her motto is, “We never work alone.”

Her perseverance, dedication, and leadership have been invaluable to BRC and Pennsylvania. Her work has made Pennsylvanians’ lives better through improved outdoor recreation access and the health and economic benefits that come with it.

“I am very proud to have been part of the BRC team for over 30 years and to have helped form it into the top agency it is today,” Diane said.

Some of Diane’s top accomplishments include the creation of the Peer-to-Peer and Circuit Rider grant programs, which help establish local recreation programs. She also developed a system to monitor trail development, which focused grant funds on completing an interconnected, statewide trail network.

Her efforts have also helped make Pennsylvania a national leader in outdoor recreation. Her work on the outdoor recreation plan led Pennsylvania to receive back-to-back awards from the National Park Service for having the best outdoor recreation plan in the country.

“Diane is one of the best people I have worked with in my Commonwealth career,” BRC director Tom Ford said. “She is one of the smartest, most dedicated, and hardworking individuals I have ever met. Like many others, I have learned a lot from her, and I am going to miss her very much.”

A true partner, Diane has worked with numerous state and regional organizations to advance common goals. Those partners are too many to list but include Pennsylvania’s twelve heritage areas, eight conservation landscapes, and statewide recreation and conservation groups.

Her greatest legacy is this network of partners, who will continue elevating outdoor recreation and land protection in Pennsylvania for years to come.

Many BRC employees are proud to list Diane as a mentor. “She has left this bureau in a better place than when she started,” said regional manager Lori Yeich, “and for that we are forever grateful.”