Pennsylvania State Park System #1 in the Nation
Pennsylvania's system of state parks, 117 total has won the "Gold." On October 14th, 2009 The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks was awarded the prestigious National Gold Medal Award presented by the American Academy of Park and Recreation Management in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, and sponsored by Musco Lighting.
Every two years the highest honor a park system can receive, The Gold Medal Award, is presented. Winners are decided by a group of parks and recreation professionals with emphasis on excellence in long range planning, resource management, citizen support, environmental stewardship, program and professional development and agency recognition.
The state park systems of Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina were considered high on the list of possible Gold Metal Award winners.
“The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation congratulates the Bureau of State Parks on their
accomplishment,” says Marci Mowery, President of the Foundation. “Their 1,600 dedicated staff work tirelessly to not only manage more then 300,000 acres of land for wildlife, water quality and recreation; but to meet the recreational needs of the citizen’s through innovative programming, creative budgeting, and partnerships.”
Pennsylvania has 117 state parks and three conservation areas that host more than 35 million visitors each year. Pymatuning State Park is the largest.
Officials of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation visited Pymatuning's Spillway, "Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish, Thursday. and brought along the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management that was presented last year to the state by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association.
Pymatuning State Park's manager, Pete Houghton thanked the community and local businesses for making Pymatuning State Park a popular place for vacationers and visitors. Houghton said, "I'd like to think Pymatuning played a significant part" (In receiving the recognition). Pete complimented the, "workers on the ground," calling them the, "true deservers, of the award...They really take to heart the visitors to this park."