On June 16, 2020 SWEP hosted our first ever virtual Conversation with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. We were so delighted to have Secretary Dunn join us, especially after having to cancel our in-person Conversation in mid-March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Caron Glotfelty, Director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, active SWEP Program Committee member, and former “Conversation” interviewee, took on the role of interviewer and opened the Conversation with a question about the impact of coronavirus on DCNR. Secretary Dunn assured the members that all the facilities that will be reopening for public use this summer are now open and ready to be enjoyed by the public (For details on what facilities are open, visit https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/FacilitiesMap/Pages/default.aspx).
Our conversation also touched on another pressing topic – the Black Lives Matter movement, and how DCNR is continually reevaluating and pushing forward efforts to diversify its, workforce and to assure equitable access to public lands for all citizens of the Commonwealth. Secretary Dunn mentioned one way the Department encourages the growth in diversity is through its Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps program, which offers work experience, job training, and environmental educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.
Secretary Dunn also shared some of her personal story, and how her passion for the outdoors and exploring new places led her to pursue a biology degree and, with the encouragement of one of her professors, a career in conservation. She also shared that she feels her proudest accomplishment is her ability to build coalitions to achieve common goals, which is a great testament to the kind of leader Secretary Dunn is.
One of her most poignant anecdotes, which I believe resonated with many SWEP members, is that self-confidence is a constant struggle for her. What she has learned about herself is that if she gives 100 percent to whatever task she has before her, that dedication and drive to do her best is freeing, and her self-consciousness takes a back seat to whatever she is trying to accomplish.
It was such a pleasure to host this Conversation, and SWEP-Three Rivers would like to thank our Conversationalists, Cindy Adams Dunn and Caren Glotfelty, and our sponsors. We could not offer such a wonderful program without the following organizational support: Diamond Level Annual Sponsor, Geosyntec, and Sapphire Level Sponsor Arcadis, and Bronze Event Sponsors: Cosmos Technology and R2O.
Interested in keeping tabs on Secretary Dunn’s initiatives at DCNR? See the links below!
DCNR website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov
DCNR Twitter: https://twitter.com/DCNRnews
DCNR Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/padcnr/
PA State Parks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visitPAparks/
DCNR Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/padcnr/
DCNR YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/pennsylvaniadcnr
Subscribe to our resource newsletter: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Subscribetoresource/Pages/default.aspx
Penn’s Parks for All
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