Join the DCNR NextGen Council!

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is excited to launch a new opportunity in the NextGen Council. The Council will help inform the agency’s work, advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and create lasting change and necessary conditions to ensure all Pennsylvanians can connect to public lands, natural resources, and engage in recreation and conservation.

Benefits to Participants

  • Learn about careers in conservation: science, environment, nature
  • Tap into opportunities for outdoor activities and sports in parks, forests, and trails
  • Meeting and working with DCNR staff and leaders
  • Leadership opportunity- writing and presenting, learning about policy
  • Help your community by working with DCNR to serve all people better
  • Meet new friends

You do not need any experience in conservation or government to apply- rather, a willingness to share your ideas and work together to support conservation and recreation for all- including future generations. There will be virtual meetings four times a year which will include educational presentations by DCNR and discussions of topics presented by DCNR or the NextGen Council

If you want to learn more or have questions, please reach out to us at

To apply, follow this link: Applications are open through January 16! The first meeting will be in late winter or early spring 2022

The council will meet once every three months. Meetings are virtual to reduce travel and promote accessibility. Council term is two years, and council members are expected to participate in at least 75 percent of meetings.

In addition to its commitment to diversity through its Next Gen Council, DCNR has led on DEI efforts among commonwealth agencies, creating a DEI-focused committee in 2017. The department also recently introduced “Nature for All” trailhead signs.

Working to make the outdoors more accessible for all people is a part of Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan and the Penn’s Parks for All strategic plan.

Some actions DCNR has taken to address DEI on public lands include:

  • An ongoing employee training program
  • Utilizing GIS mapping to improve equity in grantmaking
  • Studying park and open space access across the state
  • Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into the daily work of all areas within the agency

Any questions about council, and your application materials, can be directed to Emily Hendrickson at For more information about DEI at DCNR, please visit DCNR’s website.