May marks the 100th anniversary of Presque Isle as a state park. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources planning a year long celebration for visitors.
This year long celebration is all about honoring the history of the park. After all, it’s been 13,000 years in the making. The celebration will focus on preserving the park for future generations.
Jon DeMarco, Executive Director of the Presque Isle Partnership, describes Presque Isle State Park as the fabric of the Erie community.
“If you’re from Erie or if you grew up here or you were from Pittsburgh, Buffalo, or Cleveland and you came to the beaches of Presque Isle for the summer, it means a lot to you and that’s really what this year is about, celebrating the park for all that it naturally offers.” DeMarco said.
DeMarco says the community is lucky that in May 1921, a group decided that Presque Isle is a precious resource to protect for future generations to enjoy. Matt Greene, park operations manager, agrees.
“We want to be able to have the 200 year anniversary celebration 100 years from now too. We want everybody to be able to enjoy this for many generations down the road.” Greene said.
Park officials say part of celebrating Presque Isle’s 100 year anniversary is honoring the park’s history.
“We’re planning lots of programming that’s focused directly on that history. We’re going to do a historical exhibit to kind of walk us through the decades of Presque Isle.” Greene said. Greene says the Tom Ridge Environmental Center will be open to the public very soon.
“Just to have activity and people again, it’s that sense of what’s perceived as freedom, basically, and to be able to really appreciate our assets here.” said Barbara Chaffee, President of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation.