PENFIELD – Parker Dam State Park’s annual Woodsy Owl Weekend is scheduled for April 25-27. This annual event, which began in 1984, attracts many volunteers to the park for the weekend and to the Saturday morning and afternoon volunteer work sessions. These volunteers all take the time to lend a helping hand in maintaining the park.
The tradition of rewarding Woodsy Owl volunteers will continue with free camping for volunteers in the campground on Friday and Saturday nights. Beginning April 25, campsites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campers must simply first stop in the park office to register and get information on the program.
Campers will not be charged the normal overnight camping fee in agreement that they participate in both the Saturday morning and afternoon work sessions that will be used to spruce up the park in anticipation of the upcoming summer season. Please do not call the state park reservation system for campsites, as reservations for the Parker Dam campground will not be taken for Friday and Saturday nights of Woodsy Owl Weekend.
However, staying in the campground is not a requirement to volunteering on April 25. Any volunteer can participate in this program, whether they are staying in the campground or not.
Volunteers should meet Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the campground host site (No. 107) to be assigned a project. If you are a part of an organized group (scouts, etc.), or a large group of individuals, please contact the park’s Conservation Volunteer Coordinator (814-765-0630) prior to the event so that appropriate projects can be planned for your group. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Park Office at the same phone number.
Past volunteer work has included leaf raking, mulching, flowerbed improvements, tree planting, cleaning fire rings, painting and trail clearing and maintenance. Aside from the obvious incentive of a free weekend of camping, participants will be able to experience the rewards of volunteering in the outdoors and having a part in the beautification of our natural and recreational resources.
Woodsy Owl himself may make an appearance at the park on Saturday to visit with children and thank volunteers for their efforts. There will also be a Woodsy Owl Awards program in the campground at 5 p.m. Volunteers will be recognized for their efforts and they can learn about what they and other volunteers have helped to accomplish throughout the day.