National Park Service Visits Winter Storm Sites

Normally this time of year, many people come to places like George W. Childs Park near Dingmans Ferry to check out th...

Posted: May 22, 2018 11:31 AM
Updated: May 22, 2018 11:31 AM

Normally this time of year, many people come to places like George W. Childs Park near Dingmans Ferry to check out the waterfalls, but this year, that won't be possible at the park in Delaware Township.

Two winter storms back in March knocked down thousands of trees throughout this section of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

"The winter was really rough, lost power, a lot of damage going on. Hopefully, they can do something with it because Delaware Water Gap has been around forever and a major part of Pennsylvania," said Erik Malstron of Long Island.

Newswatch 16 followed members of the National Park Service through Childs Park to see some of the damage.

Park Rangers say this whole area was hit hard by the winter storms and damage totals are upwards of $2.6 million.

"It's really hard to see the damage because it's not just the trees that are down or the boardwalks, the bridges that are broken. All of those things can be replaced. It's the loss of so many of these white pine and hemlock trees which create the lush, cool, shady environment that allows this to be the place that people love," said Kathleen Sandt, NPS Public Affairs.

Because of all the damage, Childs Park will be closed for several years until the place can be restored. Park rangers say that's because it's going to take more than just cutting up trees to clean the place up.

"This is not just clearing the trail, cutting a hole in the trail and opening it up. This has to be taken out by hand. It's manual labor, piece by piece. These trees need to be removed. It's going to be a long process," said Bill Tagye, NPS roads and trials manager.

In addition to George W. Childs Park, Dingmans Falls will also be closed through the rest of the year.

Park rangers are working to reopen some other trails before the summer season.

For a list of trails that are open and to monitor progress on others, click here.

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