The volunteer group behind Moraine State Park is looking for new members as it gears up for the park’s 50th anniversary next year.
The Moraine Preservation Fund is the non-profit and lead Friends Group for the park. Strengthening and widening membership will help fund projects and enhancements to the park, according to officials.
“MPF is a membership based organization where members can share in their passion for the parks through hands on support,” David Murray, MPF’s president, said in a statement. “Growth of our membership base of volunteers is critical in advance of Moraine’s 50th Anniversary celebration where MPF will coordinate or host many events, there will be needs for assisting with educational programs and outdoor activities. During the 50th Anniversary celebration year we hope to expose many people to the beautiful resources provided by our state parks.”
The group will specifically be tasked with planning a signature event next July for the 50th anniversary.
To ensure volunteers work in areas that make sense for them, the group will match volunteer interests, abilities and schedules with outdoor projects and events.
MPF’s past projects include Osprey bird reintroduction, which successfully reestablished the Pennsylvania endangered species; a Barn Owl raising and release Program, which increased population numbers; Project Batitat, which converted the 18-foot tall Osprey nesting tower in the park into a scientifically designed bat condo.
Last year, MPF installed an Osprey Cam that provided a live Internet video feed of an active Osprey nest through the website MorainePreservationFund.org. More than 21,000 views were counted from mid-May through mid-September last year, where fans saw the successful raising of two chicks. The camera is currently live again and will be through mid-September this year.
MPF also operates the Owlet Gift shop at McDanels Launch in Moraine State Park during the summer season, selling fishing and other outdoor supplies, along with home decorating items and items custom-made for Moraine State Park.
The group serves as a strategic partner for Jennings Environmental Education Center and McConnells Mill State Park, in addition to Moraine.
Timed with the yearlong celebration, MPF recently ordered a new double-deck “Nautical Nature” tour boat with additional passenger capacity, which will launch in the spring of 2020. MPF has operated and provided narrated tours aboard the boat on Lake Arthur, a 3,225-acre lake in the heart of the Park, for twenty five years. The organization is currently undertaking corporate and individual fundraising to assist with the final boat purchase and financing.
Many MPF members also serve as volunteers in park conservation and other activities and will have the opportunity to take part in different events throughout the year planned to celebrate the park.
Memberships for Moraine Preservation Fund (MPF) can be purchased for $25 (individual), $15 (student), $20 (senior), $50 (family), or $250 (business). Free boat ride tickets are included with memberships. For more information about the organization or to become a member, visit the newly redesigned morainepreservationfund.org or follow the Moraine Preservation’s Fund Facebook page.