This past weekend I had ventured to Maurice State Park. While hiking in the scorching heat, my fiancé and I encountered some beautiful sites and creatures. The lake at Maurice was very long and filled with fishermen and boaters. It was a perfect spot to relax and have a picnic. But then, the hiking trails were on the more challenging side. Hiking up huge cliffs and through the steep woods, the creek we came upon was beautiful and relaxing.
Maurice K. Goddard received a MS Degree in forestry from the University of California at Berkley and served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945, awarded the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was a director at the Mont Alto Forestry School and then went on to head the Pennsylvania State University Forestry School. In 1955 he was appointed Secretary of the Bureau of Forests and Waters. His goal was to have a state park within 25 miles of every resident of Pennsylvania.
“We took a big map of Pennsylvania and drew circles around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Wyoming Valley, and Harrisburg,” he said.
In 1959 Goddard received an honorary doctorate of science from Waynesburg College and was called “Doc Goddard.” In 1971, the Department of Forests and Waters was combined, thus creating the Department of Environmental Resources. Dr. Goddard was appointed interim and then secretary of the department. Goddard retired in 1979, after 24 years as a cabinet officer to six governors. He had added 45 state parks and an additional 130,000 acres of state park land. He received many awards in his career, including the prestigious National Wildlife Federation Special Achievement Award for his 50 years as an outspoken defender of natural resources.
Also, Sandy Creek was first noted in reports made by George Washington during his trip to Fort LeBoeuf in 1753. Its history of flooding prompted the initial flood control study in 1939. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service was committed to building a dam for flood control. The land was acquired for the project in the late 1960s. The dam was completed in 1971 and recreational facilities were dedicated in 1972.
Plus, Lake Wilhelm is named in honor of Lawrence J. Wilhelm. As the Mercer County Commissioner and a Soil and Water Conservation District Director for Mercer County, Mr. Wilhelm provided leadership in the development of the park from its beginnings in 1959 to the time of his death in October of 1968.
This information is from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation website.
If you missed it, make sure to check out my behind the scenes video!