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Muncy Heritage Park held formal dedication on Sunday

By Staff | May 21, 2013

Bill Poulton is showing a group where the new proposed towpath bridge will be built at the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail. The bridge will cross over the canal and visitors will be able to walk on the towpath north to Pepper Street.

MUNCY – The Muncy Historical Society dedicated its 11 acre park on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the park’s location, 601 Pepper Street in Muncy Creek Township. Members and volunteers spent most of Saturday cleaning the park and setting up the Canal Packet Boat for visitors. President, Bill Poultan, announced that the next project will include a pavilion barn that will hold the “John Waldron” packet boat for future events. It will also house a permanent plaque of the major contributors for the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail.

This tract of land was donated by Betty Fisher so that its heritage from the canal industry could be preserved. She is the daughter of Don Fisher who purchased the land in 1960. Poulton said, “This unselfish act made this ecologically park incredible for Muncy citizens and beyond.” It was a collaborative assistance from many partnerships.

Pastor Dunkleberger presented the opening prayer, and Ed Hannon from the Margaret Waldron Foundation spoke about how he used to ride his horse back here. “This is a good project, properly funded,” he said.

Special projects are in the works for the future so continued funding will be needed. Charley Hall from Garth Everett’s office said he just received a new proposal for more money for a new project. Susquehanna Greenways announced that the park will now be part of the 70 River Trails in Pennsylvania. Brigette Kane who represented them said that Muncy is one of the great examples of a community project.

It was a joint effort of many according to Nella Storm who spoke for the Tree Commission. “All boroughs and organizations here, including the Boy Scouts, contributed to this.” This park will be important to us, 200 years from now. This is a wonderful area to enjoy our history and nature. It will be worth more and more as time goes by.”

Four new interpretive markers were unveiled at the Park's dedication on Sunday afternoon in Muncy. The markers are in honor of the late Anne Harris Katz who was a biologist and did extensive studies on the ecological life of the pond and its shoreline. She was a volunteer and a member of the Muncy Historical Society.

Hall also reflected on the Last Raft and those who lost their lives before railroads and highways. “This historical canal kept this community alive,” he reminded us.

DCNR helped with the initial funding, according to Poulton, and so did the Lycoming County Planning Commission.

Four new interpretive markers were unveiled in memory of Anne Harris Katz who was a biologist and contributed many volunteer hours assessing the park’s ecological wildlife, habitats and heritage connections. Katz also helped with many activities for the Muncy Historical Society. Other markers were in place explaining the design elements of the old West Branch Canal system.

“Our work is not done,” concluded Poulton. A pavilion will be built for the canal boat and a new tow path bridge will extend the walking trail on the west side leading up to Pepper Street. “The park is evolving and our children will enjoy the park for years to come.”