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DCNR Announces Expansion of Program Supplying Free Sunscreen at State Parks

DCNR Announces Expansion of Program Supplying Free Sunscreen at State Parks

by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

On Friday, May 24, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the expansion of a program offering visitors free sunscreen at state park beaches and swimming pools throughout Pennsylvania ahead of National Sunscreen Day, which was celebrated on Monday, May 27.

Governor Josh Shapiro recently launched a new brand for the Commonwealth – Pennsylvania: The Great American Getaway – and pointed to Pennsylvania’s state park system as an incredible destination for a weekend getaway. The Shapiro family went on a week-long RV tour ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, embarking on their own Great American Getaway to promote the new brand and Pennsylvania’s tourism industry all across the Commonwealth across more than 50 stops and 14 counties over the next six days.

“Thousands of visitors will spend time at state parks this Memorial Day weekend, and it is important to remember that protection from potentially harmful ultraviolet rays is key when spending extended time outdoors,” Dunn said. “Thank you to the Department of Health and Impact Melanoma for continued support and expansion of this important program at our state parks. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to make sunscreen a part of their outdoors routine to ensure a fun and safe summer.”

Experts say the daily application of sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher can aid in the prevention of skin cancer. Health officials report one in 40 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime. More than 8,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each day.

Pole-mounted, battery-operated dispensers, supplying 30+ SPF Sun Station USA sunscreen applications, will be positioned at 52 state parks, including:

Public lands are a major part of the Great American Getaway RV Tour, including stops at several state parks, a state forest, a national forest, several trails, and more. State parks are great summer destinations for swimmingboatingcamping, and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Pets are welcome at state parks in designated areas, including: 

“We expect to see millions of visitors at state parks this summer, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free sunscreen while enjoying our beautiful state parks,” State Parks Director John Hallas said.

DCNR’s sunscreen program began in 2017 when its Bureau of State Parks began supplying free sunscreen at Codorus and Pine Grove Furnace state parks. The program now has the potential to reach an estimated three million visitors this season.

A cancer prevention fund from the Department of Health (DOH) covers the costs of sunscreen. DCNR continues to pursue opportunities to partner with local health organizations and healthcare system providers to cover future costs and to further expand the program.  

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about state parks, and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.