Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pine Grove Furnace State Park Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan recently announced a schedule of events in 2013 to mark 100 years since the state took ownership of the lands that are now Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County.
"Pine Grove Furnace State Park is 100 years old, and like many of the attractions at our 120 state parks, it is steeped in history," Allan said. "Pine Grove helped fuel the industrial revolution by housing several iron works companies, it includes trails and facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and sits at the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail.
"Our anniversary events celebrate history, leadership, connections to the outdoors, and hiking; and with our many partners, we invite everyone to attend these free events at the park," Allan said.
The 100th anniversary events at the park are:
-- May 17-18, "Celebrating Maurice K. Goddard," including a showing of a documentary about Goddard and an educational event at the Furnace Pavilion based on his life. Goddard had a vision of a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian;
-- June 8, Appalachian Trail Museum Festival celebrating hiker culture with special guest speakers;
-- July 13, "CCC in Pennsylvania," a special guest expert will talk about the role the Civilian Conservation Corps played in building facilities at Pine Grove and what life was like as a "CCC boy;"
-- August 10, "Unknown Stories of Pine Grove Furnace," local resident Andre Weltman will share little-known and personal stories related to the park with an open-mic segment for local cabin owners;
-- September 14, Pine Grove Furnace Super Hike, two sessions of hikers will walk all the trails in the park in one day;
-- October 26-27, Fall Furnace Fest, featuring historic demonstrations, nature crafts, pumpkin carving, hayrides, music and vendors.
The anniversary series of events is sponsored by the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.
Allan noted the finishing touches are being put on the first phase of a major renovation project at the museum, located in an 18th century grist mill at the park.
The project involves a series of accessible ramps on a steep slope outside the museum. The work was done by skilled workers from the Kinsley Education Center and Kinsley Construction of York.
When completed over the next several years, the renovation project will nearly triple the exhibit space as well as expand dramatically the children's area, establish a research library and provide for office and staff space at the museum.
The project has been funded by a $50,000 challenge grant, a $30,000 donation and a $30,000 grant from the South Mountain Partnership. The renovation project will be done in significant part by volunteers.
For more information, visit the Appalachian Trail Museum website.
The park will also host the first Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute at the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, July 14-19, at its Ironmaster's Mansion.
The Institute is a weeklong summer residential program designed to engage 24 promising early level high school students in natural resources learning and training in leadership and civic engagement, all within the beautiful surroundings of the South Mountain landscape.
For more information, visit the Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute webpage.
Steeped in natural and historical features, the 696-acre Pine Grove Furnace State Park is on beautiful South Mountain in southern Cumberland County. Surrounded by Michaux State Forest , Pine Grove Furnace features two lakes, the 25-acre Laurel Lake and 1.7-acre Fuller Lake, a historic area and the Appalachian Trail.
For more information, visit the Pine Grove Furnace State Park webpage.

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