Stay protected with free sunscreen while exploring some of PA’s state parks
Information from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Don’t get burnt! Once again for the summer, free sunscreen is being offered in battery-operated dispensers for visitors at state park beaches and swimming pools throughout Pennsylvania, including Bald Eagle, Black Moshannon, Chapman, Clear Creek, Hills Creek, Parker Dam and Sizerville State Parks in the PA Wilds.
Photo: Hill Creek State Park swimming area, Tioga County
As part of National Sunscreen Day, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is expanding a program offering visitors free sunscreen at state park beaches and swimming pools throughout Pennsylvania.
“As the weather warms, it is critical people take the necessary steps to protect themselves from potentially harmful ultraviolet rays when spending extended time outdoors,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn said. “We are again extremely grateful that the state Department of Health and Impact Melanoma continue to support and help expand 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.”
Photo: Parker Dam State Park swimming area, Clearfield County
Experts say daily application of a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher can aid in 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 IMPACT sunscreen applications, will be positioned at 46 state parks (an increase from 33 parks in 2022) including:
(Parks in the PA Wilds in bold below)
Pine Grove Furnace
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. With the expansion to 13 new state parks this year, the program now has the potential to reach an estimated 2.6 million visitors this season.
A cancer prevention fund from the Department of Health (DOH) covers the costs of the 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.
Photo: Black Moshannon State Park swimming area, Centre County
“This sunscreen program has been invaluable helping park visitors prevent harmful exposure to the sun each year,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “We expect to see millions of visitors this summer season and encourage everyone to take advantage of the free sunscreen while enjoying our beautiful state parks.’
Read the full PA DCNR press release here.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Although these listed state parks have free sunscreen, it’s smart to pack things like sunscreen, the proper clothes for your journey, extra food and water, and a first aid kit regardless of where you’re traveling.
Be prepared and learn about the areas you plan to visit. Look up how to get there, what facilities are available, local terrain, rules and regulations, what communities are nearby and any special concerns for the area.
Planning ahead can make your travels safer and more comfortable.
Established on July 1, 1995, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is charged with maintaining and protecting 121 state parks; managing 2.2 million acres of state forest land; providing information on the state’s ecological and geologic resources; and establishing community conservation partnerships with grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks, open space, and natural areas. DCNR’s mission is to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment. Learn more at DCNR.pa.gov.
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