Grey Towers to Celebrate National Public Lands Day September 25th

Release Date: Sep 15, 2021

MILFORD,PA--On September 25th, Grey Towers National Historic Site, home of first Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot, will celebrate National Public Lands Day with timeless traditions and new collaborations. Working in close partnership with the Grey Towers Heritage Association, Corazón Latino, and USDA FS Conservation Ed (CE), the Forest Service at Grey Towers will encourage event attendees to reflect on the creation and maintenance of public lands and importance of these lands to national welfare and personal well-being. Grey Towers provides the perfect atmosphere for this reflection: according to historian Char Miller, Pinchot shaped the concept of public lands through his Forest Service work and set in motion the creation of the nation’s land management agencies.

Working with Corazón Latino and the Grey Towers Heritage Association, Grey Towers will honor three Pinchot traditions established at Grey Towers in the late 1920s. Chief Pinchot and his wife Cornelia provided ice cream, music, and dancing at their Grey Towers estate and encouraged local community members to enjoy the festivities. According to Pinchot biographer Nelson McGeary, this end of summer social gathering became an annual event and attracted several thousand guests. As in past years, the Heritage Association will graciously provide ice cream to attendees, and new this year, Corazón Latino will provide musical entertainment, including music from the local Scott Weiss Band.

In line with NEEF’s “More Ways to Connect to Nature” theme for National Public Lands Day, Corazón Latino uses the passion, love, and solidarity expressed through culture to connect diverse communities with environmental stewardship. With many exciting and active events planned, Corazón Latino hopes participants will recognize the intertwined relationship between human health and forest health. As the non-profit’s Executive Director Felipe Benitez shared, "Corazón Latino is honored to be part of this celebration of culture, conservation, and community while we honor our nation's public lands and our Madre Tierra - Mother Earth. We are delighted to help reconnect families and individuals to the many joys and benefits of nature."

Corazón Latino and Conservation Ed will host a children’s activity area including coloring activities, scavenger hunts, Citizen Science demonstrations, and nature-based displays. Woodsy Owl will make a special appearance to celebrate his 50th birthday. He will later be joined by Smokey Bear as they greet visitors of all ages. As an act of service, both adults and children will be invited to write notes of appreciation to our Forest Service firefighters working valiantly to protect our public lands. Acting Grey Tower Director Dr. Tinelle Bustam said, “Recognizing Chief Pinchot’s role in establishing our nation’s public lands, I cannot think of a more appropriate place to mark this special day. The Forest Service looks forward to welcoming new faces and frequent visitors alike as we join together with our partners and local community for a day of celebration.”

The event is free for all, but please RSVP in advance by visiting this link. The Grey Towers Heritage Association encourages visitors to donate non-perishable food items to support local food pantries. Due to federal COVID-19 guidelines, the mansion remains closed. Visitors are required to wear masks inside federal buildings and outside where social distancing cannot be maintained. Please email or call (570)296-9630 for more information.

Photo of Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot holding a baby and eating an ice cream cone.

Chief Gifford Pinchot holds a baby while eating an ice cream cone at Grey Towers. To celebrate National Public Lands Day, Grey Towers NHS will honor three Pinchot traditions that began in the late 1920s.