“March For Parks 2014”: Show Your Support for Hopewell Furnace and French Creek State Park on March 15th

An outdoor day of activities in support of the historic and recreational resources of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site and French Creek State Park will be held on Saturday, March 15th. This will be the 18th year Hopewell Furnace has held this event, intended to assist and draw attention to these national and state parks. Groups and individuals wishing to participate in all or only part of the day’s activities are encouraged to contact Hopewell Furnace at 610-582-8773. Activities are free for everyone and will take place rain or shine.

Participants carry on the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) by encouraging individuals and groups to become involved in service work on the same public lands the Corps helped develop. Both Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site and French Creek State Park were originally developed largely through the work of the CCC.

“March For Parks” is a fun park support activity that is normally held at National Parks nationwide in April. Here at Hopewell Furnace our Friends have held it early in March ensuring that both Hopewell Furnace and French Creek State Park are ready for the season,” said Hopewell Park Superintendent Edie Shean-Hammond. “We’re so grateful to our local citizenry for their enthusiasm and assistance at a time when these parks need help,” she added.

On Saturday between 9 and 10 a.m. participants may arrive at Hopewell’s Visitor Center. At 9:30 p.m. there will be a flag raising ceremony and welcoming address at the visitor center that all participants are invited to attend. Afterwards, participants will receive supplies, equipment and directions before setting out on a morning of trail/grounds clearing and roadside clean-up.

Volunteer groups and individuals will be working with members of the park staff, park volunteers, Friends of Hopewell Furnace and the French Creek State Park Trails Association to prepare roads, trails and grounds of these neighbor parks for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. By noon the work should be finished, and participants may use Hopewell’s picnic facilities for a break or to have lunch. Some light snacks and drinks will be provided by the Friends of Hopewell Furnace. Those wishing to have a more substantial lunch are encouraged to bring their own since other food is not available on site. Participants are encouraged to spend the afternoon visiting the historic iron works or hiking the parks’ grounds and trails.

Members of the public who wish to participate in the day’s activities may come to the park’s visitor center at the aforementioned times. Proper clothing and footwear should be worn for hiking and working. The park will provide gloves, hand tools and safety equipment as needed. Groups wishing to participate are requested to contact the park at 610-582-8773 to notify the park of their attendance.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American industrial landscape from natural resource extraction to enlightened conservation. The site is surrounded by the 73,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods, the largest forest in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Showcasing an iron plantation and its surrounding countryside, all of the park’s facilities are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day. It is closed other Federal Holidays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, while the Visitor Center and historic village are closed, the grounds, parking lot and restrooms remain open. Hopewell Furnace is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345. Admission to Hopewell Furnace is free.

For more information stop by the park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hofu, or contact us by e-mail at hofu_superintendent@nps.gov. Visitors with specific needs may contact the park for assistance before their visit.

From Hopewell Furnace