CAMP HILL – Cook Forest State Park has been named the 2018 “Park of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF).

The foundation, which is the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forest, made the announcement this week, along with the names of other parks and people recognized this year.

This year’s winners will be honored at the 12th annual banquet on May 9 at the Susquehanna Club, New Cumberland.

According to the group’s press release, Cook Forest State Park is being recognized for its “exemplary and innovative work in customer service, education, programming, recreation, stewardship of the natural, cultural, historic assets, and/or accommodation of special needs of visitors.”

Also, the foundation’s President’s Award will be given to the Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Landscape Program and the Pa Wilds Center “to recognize their outstanding work to protect open space, conservation, outdoor recreation and volunteerism.”

Other award winners include:

• Education Award — Marilyn and Tom Fye are being recognized for their help with decades of education programming, campground hosting, volunteerism and commitment to Parker Dam and Clear Creek State Parks and their visitors.

• Volunteerism Award — The Over-the Hill Gang at Oil Creek State Park is being recognized for its decades of dedication to the maintenance and care of the 40 miles of trails in Oil Creek State Park.

• Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award — This top honor is being awarded to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn to recognize her outstanding contribution to the protection and enhancement to the park and forest system in Pennsylvania.

• Joe Ibberson Government Award — State Rep. Kate M. Harper (61st District) is being awarded the Joe Ibberson Government Award for her focus on preserving the environment and work to protect and enhance the state’s Growing Greener program, Keystone Recreation, and Parks and Conservation Fund, which supports open space, historic preservation and improvements to state parks and forests.

• Forest of the Year — Rothrock State Forest is being recognized for the innovative and exemplary work in both forest management and recreation being done.

• Improvement Award — Boulder Woods Country Club is being recognized for the creation and stewardship of two disc golf courses at Gifford Pinchot State Park.

• Young Volunteer Award — Sarah Reeping is being recognized for her significant commitment to volunteerism at the Laurel Hill State Park complex.

For more information, visit paparksandforests.org.

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