Maurice K. Goddard Legacy Project
Maurice K. Goddard spoke up for conservation in Pennsylvania. He is considered to be the ‘Patriarch of Pennsylvania State Parks’, was known for his blunt, no-nonsense style and served under five Pennsylvania governors as Secretary of Forests and Waters and as the founding Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources (1955-1979). He spent an unprecedented 24 years as a cabinet officer, realizing his vision of a park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian. Only six of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are without a state park. During his tenure, Goddard added 45 parks and 130,000 acres of park land, gaining national recognition for Pennsylvania’s state park system.
“Maurice Goddard put Pennsylvania on the conservation map with his strong commitment to the management of our environmental resources and outdoor recreation,” says Marci Mowery, PPFF President. “Goddard felt strongly that it was important to have state parks within reach of all Pennsylvanians and set out to make that goal happen. We feel it is important that current and future generations understand that the park system that they enjoy with their families was created from the commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers across the decades.”
The goal of the Legacy Project is to celebrate the accomplishments
of Maurice K. Goddard and to rededicate all Pennsylvanians to his
vision and values for the conservation of our natural resources. Launched in 2009, this multi-year endeavor seeks to build awareness of his legacy and share it with all Pennsylvanians.
We celebrated the 100th anniversary of Doc Goddard's birth
(September 13th, 1912) with some summer fun.
The Goddard Challenge – much like a classic Bingo game – sent park and forest visitors off on adventures to visit the places made possible by Goddard's leadership. The official Challenge is over but that's no reason not to make the visits. Click here to download your Goddard Challenge Card.
On September 13th, a birthday party for Goddard was held at the Camp Hill United Methodist Church. There, visitors watched the Goddard documentary and learned more about his background
and life (and filled in that space of their Challenge Card).
On October 13th, Camp Hill Borough hosted the Third Annual Goddard Trail 5k run/walk.
Also on October 13th, The Goddard Metric Century Bike Ride wound thru York County connecting two of the parks added to the system during Doc's tenure (Gifford Pinchot and Codorus).
On October 21st, the Friends of Ridley Creek (one of eight parks to join the system in the pivotal year of 1972) celebrated the park's 40th birthday with tours of the park's Hunting Hill Mansion, exhibits and refreshments and the culmination of their 40-Mile Challenge.
Goddard Legacy Project member Brenda Barrett recently authored a pointed piece on the very real threats to the Goddard's Legacy. Read it here.
Brenda was also published in Pennsylvania History from the Pennsylvania Historical Association, writing on the Legacy Project. Read it here.
September 12, 2009: Project kick-off walk on the Goddard Memorial Trail in Camp Hill where Goddard made his home for nearly 50 years.
October 21, 2010: Pennsylvania’s Environment: Preserving a Legacy, a symposium on the lessons Goddard’s legacy offers for the future (available for viewing HERE on the WITF website)
November 8, 2010: Rededication of the Wykoff Run Natural Area in Elk State Forest as “Maurice Goddard Natural Area at Wykoff Run.”
November 10, 2010: The Life of Maurice Goddard airs on WITV-Harrisburg (and remains available to view on their website)
April 12, 2011: Getting Something Done-The Invisible Leadership of Maurice Goddard, a leadership symposium for students and the community at Camp Hill’s Grace Pollock Performing Arts Center
Placement of five historic markers celebrating Goddard’s accomplishments at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, at Delaware Canal and M.K. Goddard State Parks, at Penn State University’s Mont Alto campus, and in Camp Hill.
Unveiling of 25 interpretive panels celebrating Goddard’s life at state parks across the Commonwealth.
Developing a leadership program for youth and young professionals.
Project partners include: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, WITF, Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission, and Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals. Funding for the project was made possible by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Heinz Endowment, The Richard King Mellon Foundation, The McKenna Foundation, The Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds, and private contributions.
For even more Goddard information, check out the links below.
Goddard Fact Sheet
Spring 2010 Newsletter
Help Continue the Legacy - Donate Now
Former DCNR Secretary
John Oliver and
Goddard State Park
Manager William Wasser
unveil the Goddard
Pam Metzger, PPFF Membership/Volunteer
Coordinator, speaks to gathered dignitaries
and guests at the Maurice K. Goddard Historical Marker unveiling at M.K. Goddard State Park.