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PA LAND CHOICES empowers all of us to be involved citizens who can influence the policies that make our communities places we want to live. By understanding the system and becoming active participants, we can protect what we love and change what we don’t.

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PA Land Choices is a collection of sequential activities to educate and motivate participants to become involved in their local community and to conserve their natural resources. The activities are easy to use and available through workshops or downloading on this website. The information is self contained and based on data from a variety of sources. The concepts are simple. The activities are fun and engaging.

Each activity guides the learner to understand the power of choice by analyzing the forces that create change in their community and region. It challenges the learner to become involved in creating the communities of the future. It reflects the importance of natural resources, green spaces, public lands and public spaces. It promotes civic responsibility through place-based education and service-learning.

Celebrate Communities and Local Government!

PA Land Choices is a celebration of the people of Pennsylvania represented by the communities in which they live. Because these communities are distinct in character and leadership, this curriculum is easily adapted to suit the uniqueness and flavor of any region. PA Land Choices recognizes that citizen education is imperative for the success of communities.

This curriculum appeals to a diverse audience, including citizens, municipal officials, community leaders and educators. It encourages participation by a variety of community constituents and is most valuable if it involves a diverse representation of the community.

PA Land Choices is about you, your community and its resources. It is about your role and your right to participate in your local government...a democratic process that impacts the places you know best...your neighborhoods and communities. The purpose of the program is to empower you as a citizen—young or old, teacher or community leader, student or parent—to become involved in the choices that improve your community character and collectively guide Pennsylvania toward a healthy, sustainable future.

PA Land Choices is based on the following goals:

  • To increase citizen involvement in shaping the future of our communities and the Commonwealth;
  • To promote conservation of natural and historic resources, the value of public land and the responsibility of land ownership;
  • To encourage citizens in defining and promoting healthy, sustainable communities; and
  • To understand the role of local government and the tools available for guiding growth, protecting regional character and promoting resources.

PA Land Choices is for all Citizens

PA Land Choices is a collection of original activities developed for use by educators and community leaders to help teach citizens – young and old – about the importance of personal involvement, understanding our civic responsibility to local government and the power of our choices in a changing environment. Programs are directed and implemented locally and address local investigations and local service opportunities.

You may be a municipal official, a college professor, a community forester or a county planner. PA Land Choices provides engaging group activities taking participants through a step by step process; first examining the changes in Pennsylvania’s past and present, then focusing on the personal involvement of each citizen in community projects, local government, and the protection of natural resources and important ecological lands. Citizen programs can be delivered in a variety of circumstances and length of time deemed appropriate for the audience. To request a PA Land Choices program for your community or organization, contact the PA Land Choices Coordinator or a state park educator.

PA Land Choices is adapted for Educators and Administrators

Activities have been aligned to state academic standards in Social Studies and Environment and Ecology for application in public school programs in grades 6- 12. It has been utilized successfully for college courses and adapted for younger grades. PA Land Choices is offered through teacher workshops which have been granted Act 48 status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Act 48 teacher workshops require a minimum of 16 hours. Workshops have been endorsed at the Governor’s Institute for Social Studies and the Governor’s Institute for Environment and Ecology.

For classrooms, it is a model for place-based education, focusing student learning on communities and familiar places, addressing standards in civics and geography. It encourages citizenship through public stewardship and service learning. It provides students with connections to projects in their community and on public lands throughout the Commonwealth. The educational activities can be applied in a week-long social studies unit or during a series of class periods teaching about local environmental responsibility. It can be scheduled as a one day experience or applied in an integrated program of multidisciplinary education. It could be used in classrooms conducting Project Citizen or with Project Learning Tree.

The choices we make will impact Pennsylvania for generations to come, so it is the responsibility of each of us to guide our communities toward a sustainable future. When we understand our role in the decision-making process, we become empowered to create the sustainable communities we desire.

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