July 15, 2014

Lieutenant Gov Jim Cawley kicks off Capital Project

FRE public event Tues, July 29 at 11

Tuesday, July 29
FREE Public Event. Please rsvp to [email protected]
11 am: Live bluegrass music
Noon: Presentation of colors and pledge of allegience
Short program by the Lieutenant Governor

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley and other distinguished guests will headline an early-afternoon celebration at Hawk Mountain to launch the Sanctuary's latest capital upgrade: a fully-accessible connector trail that links the Outdoor Amphitheater, Visitor Center, parking areas, Native Plant Garden and trail entrance.

Bluegrass music begins at 11 with Saucony Grass, and those who rsvp are invited to enjoy a BBQ picnic fare and other light refreshments. Program takes place under a spacious tent, and will be held rain or shine. Joining the Lieutenant Governor will be State Senators Davd Argall and Judy Schwank, State Representative Jerry Knowles, and master of ceremonies, Berks County Commission Christian Leinbach.

The project is made possible thanks to a kick-off grant of $250,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), one of three grants the Sanctuary received from the state agency earlier this year. Other grants included $200,000 to support upgrades at the newly expanded and upgraded Irma Broun-Kahn Education Building, and $100,000 to support a critical land protection project to help acquire a 25.3-acre forested parcel contiguous to the Sanctuary, Pennsylvania Gamelands 106 and the Appalachian Trail.

Funds for the DCNR grants were made available through the Pennsylvania Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key 93), the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener 1), and federal funding sources. DCNR provides the primary source of state support for outdoor recreation and conservation initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Hawk Mountain President Jerry Regan. “We’re grateful to everyone at DCNR, as well as Senator Dave Argall, Representative Jerry Knowles, the Berks and the Schuylkill County Commissions and the Albany and West Brunswick Township Supervisors. Everyone supported this and our other important projects, and partnership at the local, county and state level is extraordinary,” he adds.

Regan says funds to construct the new walkway are an investment in the Sanctuary as well as the region. "Hawk Mountain already serves an average 70,000 visitors per year, including as many as 6,000 schoolchildren, and studies prove that visitors to Hawk Mountain funnel upwards of $7.5 million into the local economy," he explains.

Plans for the walkway follow recommendations from a visitor circulation study, and will improve accessibility to programs, increase safety, and create a central gathering area that improves new visitor orientation. “This project will begin in earnest this winter, and will feature permeable pavers and new native vegetation that will immerse visitors into their outdoor experience,” says Regan.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was founded by a New York conservation activist, Rosalie Edge, in 1934. It was incorporated in 1938 as a nonprofit organization, and this year celebrates its 80th anniversary as one of the single greatest conservation success stories of our time.