William Penn State Forest Introduces New Spanish Language Map
Partnership with Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation welcomes diversity among forest visitors
The William Penn State Forest has just released a new Spanish language map and recreation guide. Produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, this new pamphlet represents a significant step in welcoming the Hispanic community to enjoy all that the forest has to offer.
The William Penn State Forest contains over 2,000 acres of land in ten different tracts across southeastern Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Lancaster County. From the rocky soil of the Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens to the tidal mud flats of Little Tinicum Island, the William Penn State Forest offers numerous unique experiences to nature lovers of all ages. The new Spanish language recreation pamphlets provide maps for these tracts and highlights the available hiking, primitive camping, hunting, and fishing opportunities. They also provide a brief history of the Pennsylvania state forest system and explain the role of the Bureau of Forestry in preserving our forests and protecting them from wildfires.
It is the hope of the PPFF, Forest District, and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry that this initiative will help bring the diverse communities of southeastern Pennsylvania out to the forests to experience their natural beauty.
“I am very pleased to offer these maps; they provide a lot of important information. This is the first time we have them available in Spanish. Thank you, Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and the many people involved for making it happen,” said Stephen Wacker, District Forester for the William Penn State Forest.
Perfect for hiking, visitors of the William Penn State Forest can explore the crisscrossing trails of the Gibraltar Hill Tract, enjoy a scenic view of Berks County, experience the untouched landscape of the David R. Johnson and Ruth Zimmerman Natural Areas, or examine the rare plants of the Goat Hill Wild Plant Sanctuary.
Primitive or backcountry camping, a form of overnight camping without the use of a motorized vehicles to haul equipment, is allowed within the William Penn State Forest with the exception of a few areas. For primitive campsites, campers must leave their vehicles in the parking lot and carry their equipment to the campsite on foot or by other non-motorized means. It is a true wilderness camping experience. Bathroom facilities, dump stations, utility hook-ups, and drinking water are not available at campsites on state forest lands. There are more established campsites available at the Gibraltar Hill Tract, the Buck Hollow Tract, and the George W. Wertz Tract, though motorized vehicles are still prohibited. Camping permits are required if staying at a campsite for more than one night. They can be obtained free of charge by contacting the staff of the William Penn Forest District (contact information below).
Hunting is permitted on state forest land, except in safety zones and posted areas. All Pennsylvania Game Commission seasons, rules, and regulations apply. Fishing opportunities can be found in Octoraro Creek at the Goat Hill Wild Plant Sanctuary, as well as Wertz Creek at the George W. Wertz Tract. As with all natural areas, proper disposal of trash and Leave No Trace principles, encouraging visitors to leave the forest undisturbed, are expected.
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation has a goal to ensure a place and an experience for all in the outdoors. “Working with the William Penn Forest District to empower a Spanish language version of the popular public use map is just one of the steps the Foundation is taking to ensure inclusiveness in the outdoors,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Foundation.
This past spring, PPFF welcomed bilingual Ambassador Margarita Caicedo to ensure a welcoming environment for Hispanic park visitors. The Spanish language map was a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, the Natural Lands Trust, and William Penn Forest District, made possible through the support of private donations, as an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience inclusive of this rising demographic of outdoor recreationists.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the new map, contact the staff of the William Penn Forest District at (610) 582-9660 or [email protected].
The William Penn State Forest is part of Pennsylvania’s extensive 2.2 million-acre state forest system, managed by the Bureau of Forestry. There are 20 state forests, located in 50 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, comprising 13 percent of the forested land in the Commonwealth. The mission of the Bureau of Forestry is to ensure the long-term health, viability, and productivity of Pennsylvania’s forests.
To learn more about the William Penn State Forest visit: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateForests/FindAForest/WilliamPenn/