Last week, Representative Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) introduced House Resolution 901 recognizing the 125th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s state forest and state park systems.

“This resolution commemorates the internationally recognized conservation efforts initiated in the Commonwealth by the General Assembly and Governor Robert Pattison in 1893, and the contributions of Gifford Pinchot, Rachel Carson, and many other individuals to promote and preserve the Commonwealth’s resources in the 125 years since,” said Harper.

The first state forest reserve was established with the purchase of 7,000 acres in Clinton County at the end of the 19th century. Today, 2.2 million acres of forest in 49 counties are sustainably managed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Pennsylvania’s first state park was created in 1893 when the Commonwealth set aside land at Valley Forge. In 1976, Pennsylvania presented the park to the federal government as a gift for the nation’s bicentennial. Today there are 121 state parks across Pennsylvania covering nearly 300,000 acres.

“These lands are treasures for our Commonwealth and its people,” said Harper. “We hope you will join us in commemorating the historic anniversaries of the establishment of the programs that have allowed us to preserve these crucial, beautiful resources.”

You can read the full text of the resolution, which highlights the importance of conservation and recreation funding sources like the Keystone Fund and Growing Greener, here.