COVID-19 Champions!

The Friends of the Trough Creek and Warriors Path State Parks was presented a Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation (PPFF) "COVID-19 Champions Award" in May. Presentation of the award took place at the group's monthly meeting held Thursday night at Trough Creek State Park.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March 2020, many facets of normal life were stalled by quarantine and social distancing and it was universally recognized that outside was the place to be for mental and physical well being. This resulted in nearly 47 million people visiting Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests in 2020.

Throughout the ever-changing pandemic situation, staff and volunteers serving Pennsylvania’s public lands rose to the challenges all while accommodating a record number of visitors. In honor of these dedicated individuals, the PPFF focused its 2021 annual awards, sponsored by Recreational Equipment Incorporated, on those “COVID-19 Champions” in recognition of those who went above and beyond to ensure public safety, improve the visitor experience, create a welcoming environment, and show leadership in support of the outdoors.

Friends of Trough Creek and Warriors Path State Parks was awarded the PPFF COVID-19 Champion Award for stewardship. The Friends group was in their first year of existence when the pandemic hit, but that didn’t stop them from getting things done.

The Friends group members started firewood sales at the Trough Creek campground, which were very well received by park visitors. They built a storage shed for the firewood and collected, cut, split, and bundled every piece of wood for sale.

Without this committed group of individuals, this important fundraiser would not have been successful. Members restored the stone fireplaces that can be found throughout Trough Creek’s various picnic areas and worked together to prepare for the 2021 season. Their efforts support the needs of Trough Creek and Warriors Path State Parks, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors. The Friends of Trough Creek / Warriors Path State Parks were among 20 honorees across the state who were recognized by PPFF during a virtual ceremony in May.

"We are very honored and humbled to be a recipient of of the 20 awards presented by PPFF. It let's us know that our efforts are being noticed and appreciated," stated group co-chairman Adam Watson.

Making the presentation to the group was PPFF official Pam Metzger. An attractive wooden plaque the group received will be displayed in the park office at Trough Creek State Park for the public to see.