Laurel Highland Hiking Trail Chimneys to Receive New Life
Camp Hill, PA –The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI) to help support restoration of Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Adirondack shelters.
“The park is truly honored to receive the support from REI Inc., PPFF, and the outdoor recreation community” said Mike Mumau, Park Manager, Laurel Hill State Park. “These funds will be used to repoint the chimneys and repair the fireboxes on the Adirondack shelters along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. These improvements will guarantee one of the most unique overnight experiences in our State Park system for generations to come.”
Over the past four years, with assistance from REI, the Friends of Laurel Hill State Park, PPFF and DCNR, four of the eight shelter areas have seen their chimneys and fireboxes restored, but there is more to be done.
“It was so impressive to see how these shelters were repaired to their original strength and beauty for so many people to use and enjoy” said Ron Rodriguez, Store Manager, REI Pittsburgh, who visited the project site in 2016. “We have made this grant one of our main focuses this year. We look forward to seeing the area continue to transform and provide unforgettable experiences for adventurers.”
Built over forty years ago, these Adirondack style shelters provide a unique camping experience in a Pennsylvania state park. Yet time and wear have taken their toll, as chimneys crumble and fireboxes become unsafe.
But that is about to change. A $10,000 grant from REI Pittsburgh will be used to leverage a remaining $14,000 in private philanthropy so that all remaining shelter areas can be restored.
“REIs support has been invaluable to completing this project” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “Knowing that time is limited for the remaining chimneys, we are asking users of our parks and forests to support the final restoration with private philanthropy.”
The public can support the project by making a donation to the fund or adopting a shelter, for which they will receive a before and picture, an adoption certificate, and their name in the park office at Laurel Hill State Park. To learn more about the efforts visit the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation website at www.paparksandforests.org. Checks can be sent to PPFF 1845 Market Street Suite 202 Camp Hill, PA 17011, with LHHT in the memo or online donations at the site listed above.
About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Founded in 1999, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities and donations through its 40 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement in volunteerism, recreation and conservation. paparksandforests.org @PaPFF