Cindy Dunn PA conservation figure

Cindy Adams Dunn

June 23, 1958 - ___

Cindy Adams Dunn grew up near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From an early age, Cindy learned to appreciate nature from her father who took her on walks, even as a toddler, to look at snakes, insects, and birds. She learned the value of volunteering from her mother, who was actively involved in church, the PTA, and other community activities. Cindy took that spirit to hear when, at age 17, she helped fight against a proposed landfill near her home in Fishing Creek. Part of her role was to gather signatures on a petition, and speak to people within the valley, including a local nudist camp, which proved to be a strong ally. Then and now, Cindy is more interested in “making a difference” than “making a statement.”

It was those early experiences, combined with an education at Shippensburg University for a B.S. and master’s degree in biology,  that led Cindy to choose a career path in conservation. Her work took her to the National Audubon Society in Camp Hill, as well as the American Rivers chapter in Pennsylvania. During Governor Ed Rendell’s administration, Cindy led the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, helping local communities build parks and other recreational facilities, and then went on to be the president and CEO of the conservation group, PennFuture.

In more recent years, Governor Tom Wolf appointed her to be the Secretary of the DCNR. In her return to the agency, Cindy promotes forested buffers along the state’s streams and rivers, green infrastructure to protect water quality, green buildings to reduce energy costs and hedge against climate change impacts, and more opportunities for children of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to spend more time in nature. Cindy believes her best contribution to the environment is “introducing others to nature.”