Pennsylvania Department of Community and Natural Resources Honors Volunteer Service To Parks, Forests

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Gov. Tom Ridge, the
 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) presented
 "Conservation Volunteer of the Year" awards to a group supporting a
 Susquehanna County state park, and to residents of Clearfield and Lycoming
 counties.
     The agency bestowed its annual group honor on Friends of Salt Springs in
 an award ceremony at Salt Spring State Park.  The 200-member organization has
 spearheaded many recent major park improvements.
     Also honored in a separate ceremony was Patrick P. Domico of Curwensville,
 Clearfield County.  Domico was recognized for his 25-year association with
 Parker Dam State Park's "Kids Ice Fishing Derby" that draws 100 to
 250 youngsters each winter.
     The individual Conservation Volunteer of the Year Award was a tie in 2000.
 Domico shares the honor with Weldon C. Cohick Jr., of Linden, Lycoming County,
 who was honored today for contributing more than 640 hours of volunteer
 service to the Pine Creek Trail area of Tioga State Forest District.
     "Once again, all of our Conservation Volunteer Award recipients are marked
 by a passion to protect, improve and enhance the natural world around us,"
 said John Plonski, DCNR's Executive Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry.
     "Whether it is introducing a youngster to the joys of ice fishing,
 greeting a Pine Creek Trail visitor, or transforming a state park into a
 Northeastern Pennsylvania showplace, the efforts of these recipients embody
 the purpose of the program and their awards."
     Plonski said the three award-winning volunteer efforts helped DCNR again
 surpass an annual goal of 500,000 volunteer-hours in its parks, forests and
 other agency programs.
     "Pennsylvanians were challenged with a lofty goal four years ago when Gov.
 Ridge launched the Conservation Volunteer Program -- 500,000 hours a year by
 the end of 2000," Plonski said.  "We topped that goal in both 1999 and 2000,
 but only with the help of people like Mr. Domico, Mr. Cohick and the Friends
 of Salt Springs."
     Speaking Wednesday at the award presentation at Salt Spring State Park,
 Plonski noted that the park's "friends" group is unique, boasting a membership
 from several counties that is eager to support the park with both its time and
 financial donations.
     "More of our 116 state parks and their visitors should be so fortunate as
 to have `friends' like these," Plonski said. "Since forming in 1994, this
 group has embraced an ambitious improvement program that has seen the
 construction of a pavilion and on-site sewage system, and renovation of a park
 building and other facilities.
     "Also, the group was instrumental in the purchase of a 294-acre tract to
 be managed in cooperation with Salt Spring State Park."
     Domico was recognized for service to Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield
 County, where his 25-year association with the park's "Kids Ice Fishing Derby"
 draws 100 to 250 youngsters each winter.  Domico, 61, has been the driving
 force behind the park event's success, collecting prize donations and money
 for fish stockings, and also handling judging and publicity.
     "Parker Dam is among our leading state parks for special activities, and
 these events cannot be successful without the dedication of volunteers like
 Pat Domico," said Bureau of State Parks Director Roger Fickes.
     Speaking at the award presentation at the Clearfield Progress, where
 Domico is employed, Fickes said Domico "has become a fixture on the ice whose
 dedication and angling skills bring the crowds back year after year."
     More than 200 trips through "Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon" have supplied
 Cohick with a knowledge of Pine Creek that he is eager to share with first-
 time visitors, said Plonski, speaking today at the awards ceremony at Darling
 Run Access Area along Pine Creek in Tioga County.
     "Every Saturday from early April to mid-November, Weldon Cohick makes the
 100-mile, roundtrip drive to this visitors' center to meet and assist a
 growing number of trail users," Plonski said.  "His service to this forest
 district is the definition of commitment."
     A total of 553,422 hours of volunteer work was tabulated last year by
 DCNR.  This marked the highest amount ever contributed to DCNR's Conservation
 Volunteer Program since its inception in 1997.
     "This dedication shown by users of state parks and forests, their
 demonstrated willingness to get involved, is yet another victory for the
 environment and for Pennsylvania's taxpayers under the Ridge Administration,"
 Plonski said.
     The Conservation Volunteer Program is a Ridge Administration PRIME
 initiative.  Launched by Gov. Ridge in February 1996 and directed day to day
 by Lt. Gov. Mark  Schweiker, PRIME fulfills one of the Administration's top
 priorities:  to create a Commonwealth that is customer centered, cost
 effective and globally competitive through employee-driven change.
     The 553,422 volunteer hours compiled last year surpasses 1999's total of
 526,633 hours statewide.  The bulk of volunteer hours, 484,335, was performed
 in state parks.  The Bureau of Forestry reported 68,377 hours, while the
 Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey logged 350.  The Conservation and
 Natural Resources Advisory Council reported 360 hours for the year.
     Many state parks and forests are looking for volunteers for "spring
 cleanup" activities.  Several parks also are looking for people to serve as
 campground hosts.
     Anyone interested in becoming a conservation volunteer can contact any
 state park or forest district office; visit DCNR's website through the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.dcnr.state.pa.us; or call
 1-888-PA-PARKS from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 
     CONTACT:  Terry Brady Deputy Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania
 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 717-772-9101.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X70317487
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Gov. Tom Ridge, the
 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) presented
 "Conservation Volunteer of the Year" awards to a group supporting a
 Susquehanna County state park, and to residents of Clearfield and Lycoming
 counties.
     The agency bestowed its annual group honor on Friends of Salt Springs in
 an award ceremony at Salt Spring State Park.  The 200-member organization has
 spearheaded many recent major park improvements.
     Also honored in a separate ceremony was Patrick P. Domico of Curwensville,
 Clearfield County.  Domico was recognized for his 25-year association with
 Parker Dam State Park's "Kids Ice Fishing Derby" that draws 100 to
 250 youngsters each winter.
     The individual Conservation Volunteer of the Year Award was a tie in 2000.
 Domico shares the honor with Weldon C. Cohick Jr., of Linden, Lycoming County,
 who was honored today for contributing more than 640 hours of volunteer
 service to the Pine Creek Trail area of Tioga State Forest District.
     "Once again, all of our Conservation Volunteer Award recipients are marked
 by a passion to protect, improve and enhance the natural world around us,"
 said John Plonski, DCNR's Executive Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry.
     "Whether it is introducing a youngster to the joys of ice fishing,
 greeting a Pine Creek Trail visitor, or transforming a state park into a
 Northeastern Pennsylvania showplace, the efforts of these recipients embody
 the purpose of the program and their awards."
     Plonski said the three award-winning volunteer efforts helped DCNR again
 surpass an annual goal of 500,000 volunteer-hours in its parks, forests and
 other agency programs.
     "Pennsylvanians were challenged with a lofty goal four years ago when Gov.
 Ridge launched the Conservation Volunteer Program -- 500,000 hours a year by
 the end of 2000," Plonski said.  "We topped that goal in both 1999 and 2000,
 but only with the help of people like Mr. Domico, Mr. Cohick and the Friends
 of Salt Springs."
     Speaking Wednesday at the award presentation at Salt Spring State Park,
 Plonski noted that the park's "friends" group is unique, boasting a membership
 from several counties that is eager to support the park with both its time and
 financial donations.
     "More of our 116 state parks and their visitors should be so fortunate as
 to have `friends' like these," Plonski said. "Since forming in 1994, this
 group has embraced an ambitious improvement program that has seen the
 construction of a pavilion and on-site sewage system, and renovation of a park
 building and other facilities.
     "Also, the group was instrumental in the purchase of a 294-acre tract to
 be managed in cooperation with Salt Spring State Park."
     Domico was recognized for service to Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield
 County, where his 25-year association with the park's "Kids Ice Fishing Derby"
 draws 100 to 250 youngsters each winter.  Domico, 61, has been the driving
 force behind the park event's success, collecting prize donations and money
 for fish stockings, and also handling judging and publicity.
     "Parker Dam is among our leading state parks for special activities, and
 these events cannot be successful without the dedication of volunteers like
 Pat Domico," said Bureau of State Parks Director Roger Fickes.
     Speaking at the award presentation at the Clearfield Progress, where
 Domico is employed, Fickes said Domico "has become a fixture on the ice whose
 dedication and angling skills bring the crowds back year after year."
     More than 200 trips through "Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon" have supplied
 Cohick with a knowledge of Pine Creek that he is eager to share with first-
 time visitors, said Plonski, speaking today at the awards ceremony at Darling
 Run Access Area along Pine Creek in Tioga County.
     "Every Saturday from early April to mid-November, Weldon Cohick makes the
 100-mile, roundtrip drive to this visitors' center to meet and assist a
 growing number of trail users," Plonski said.  "His service to this forest
 district is the definition of commitment."
     A total of 553,422 hours of volunteer work was tabulated last year by
 DCNR.  This marked the highest amount ever contributed to DCNR's Conservation
 Volunteer Program since its inception in 1997.
     "This dedication shown by users of state parks and forests, their
 demonstrated willingness to get involved, is yet another victory for the
 environment and for Pennsylvania's taxpayers under the Ridge Administration,"
 Plonski said.
     The Conservation Volunteer Program is a Ridge Administration PRIME
 initiative.  Launched by Gov. Ridge in February 1996 and directed day to day
 by Lt. Gov. Mark  Schweiker, PRIME fulfills one of the Administration's top
 priorities:  to create a Commonwealth that is customer centered, cost
 effective and globally competitive through employee-driven change.
     The 553,422 volunteer hours compiled last year surpasses 1999's total of
 526,633 hours statewide.  The bulk of volunteer hours, 484,335, was performed
 in state parks.  The Bureau of Forestry reported 68,377 hours, while the
 Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey logged 350.  The Conservation and
 Natural Resources Advisory Council reported 360 hours for the year.
     Many state parks and forests are looking for volunteers for "spring
 cleanup" activities.  Several parks also are looking for people to serve as
 campground hosts.
     Anyone interested in becoming a conservation volunteer can contact any
 state park or forest district office; visit DCNR's website through the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.dcnr.state.pa.us; or call
 1-888-PA-PARKS from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 
     CONTACT:  Terry Brady Deputy Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania
 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 717-772-9101.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X70317487
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources