OIL CITY, Pa., July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today visited Oil Creek State Park and the Drake Well Museum during his three-day kayak tour through western Pennsylvania to promote Pennsylvania's vast natural resources and cultural heritage.
Accompanied by First Lady Susan Corbett, the Governor toured the state park aboard the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad on an excursion train. While aboard the train, the Governor and First Lady had their State Park Passports officially stamped at the nation's only remaining, operating on-train post office.
"Preserving our natural resources and cultural heritage for generations to come is critical to the growth of our commonwealth," Corbett said. "Not only do they support a high quality of life for our residents, but they support the continued success of Pennsylvania's tourism industry."
Pennsylvania state parks often have important connections to Pennsylvania history and culture and are more popular than ever as an affordable destination and outdoor recreation option. In addition to the environmental and recreational benefits, state parks across Pennsylvania generate more than $1 billion in economic activity in nearby communities and support almost 13,000 related jobs.
"Every dollar in state money we invest in our award-winning state park system generates $12 in local economic activity that helps communities prosper and maintain jobs," said Corbett. "Businesses such as outfitters, bike shops, B & Bs and restaurants all crop up to support the visitors to our parks."
Oil Creek State Park and the Drake Well Museum mark the birthplace of the world's oil industry. The museum displays a full-size replica of the original engine and derrick of the early oil well and exhibits about Pennsylvania oil country.
"This place is a real treasure; a living monument to the people who had ideas, took risks and never lost faith," Corbett said. "Today, Oil Creek State Park, with its still working wells, bears witness to the energy and innovation of our people."
During his visit Corbett praised the innovative drive that is imbedded in Pennsylvanians, from the brave first extraction of oil in 1859 to the growing Marcellus Shale industry today.
"This historic site shows us that we can make our people prosperous and fuel a nation by hard work and optimism," Corbett said. "We can build our industries while preserving the natural bounty God gave us. We can have the best of both worlds, but as this place reminds us, we have to be willing to try."
The Governor was joined today by representatives from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and local officials.
Corbett will continue his kayak tour Tuesday and Wednesday and will be visiting other parks and historical sites in the region to see first-hand the successful partnership of preservation and economic growth.
For more information about state parks, visit the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources online at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
To find historic sites across the state, visit the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission online at www.phmc.state.pa.us.
Find additional opportunities to explore Pennsylvania's many unique tourism assets at www.visitPA.com.
Media contact: Kelli Roberts, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor