July 17, 2018

Camp Hill, PA –The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests announced approval of grants from Recreational Equipment, Inc., (REI) for improvements to Gallitzin and Buchanan State Forests. The improvements include construction and repairs.
During the 125th Anniversary year of Pennsylvania state parks and forests it is important to include historical aspects of the public land in the Commonwealth. REI’s grant will help to do that by supporting the restoration of one of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) era chimney’s in the Blankley Tract of the Buchanan State Forest. From 1933 to 1942, the work of the CCC transformed Pennsylvania’s forests and parks by fighting forest fires, planting trees, and building roads, buildings, picnic areas, swimming areas, and campgrounds.
Gallitzin State Forest, Rager Mountain Division, will improve the shared use trail system with the construction of a bridge crossing Laurel Run Stream. Once completed, an approximately 25 mile loop of shared use trail will be enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, cross country skiers, equestrians, and snowmobilers. The loop trail will attract day use and overnight visitors to the area.
“REI continues to be a strong supporter of Pennsylvania’s parks and forests” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “With their support the Foundation has been able to address needs that improve the visitor experience, attracts people to local communities, and improves human health.”
“At REI, we are so proud to support the efforts of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, who work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are accessible, maintained, and improved upon for all to enjoy,” said Amanda Galvan, Outreach Specialist, REI Co-op. “We are so excited to see the new trail system in Gallitzin State Forest and the chimney in Buchanan State Forest restored to its formal glory!”
“As the District Forester for the Gallitzin Forest District, I would like to thank REI for this funding which will help us improve the trail system in the Rager Division for all users of the state forest, said Robert Wetzel Jr., District Forester Gallitzin State Forest. “Crossing Laurel Run has been a challenge for a long time and with help from this grant we can design and build a much needed bridge for everyone from hikers to snowmobilers.”
Work for both projects is scheduled to begin later this year.

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