Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and other organizations visited Washington Crossing Historic Park Wednesday.
The stop that took place at the Thompson-Neely Grist Mill was part of the DCNR’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of state parks.
“Throughout its 125 years, our state park system has been steeped in history that began in Valley Forge, and is celebrated here today on the grounds of Washington Crossing Historic Park,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “It is the inherent values of history, natural beauty and recreational potential that has earned our state parks national recognition, and we intend to keep working to make our state parks better by making them more appealing to visitors of all ages, and from all areas of the state.”
The event included comments from state representatives and Friends of Washington Crossing Park President John Godzieba. A tour of the newly-restored grist mill was also offered.
Washington Crossing Historic Park, which sits in Upper Makefield and Solebury, is among the most recently added state parks. It was previously run by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and remains a National Historic Landmark.
The park, which is widely known for its annual reenactment of General George Washington’s 1776 crossing of the Delaware River, is aided by the Friends of Washington Crossing Park. The group works with DCNR to put on programs and events at the historic site.
“Our partnership with DCNR over the past two and one-half years has yielded some amazing results in not only making this a great park destination, but increasing our services to visitors. It is a best-case example of a successful public-private partnership,” said Godzieba.
Pennsylvania has more than 300,000 acres of state parks.