GTHA Successes & Accomplishments

Our Mission

JW, Gifford, and Mary with their dog

The mission of the Grey Towers Heritage Association (GTHA) is to:

To assist the US Forest Service in education, improvements, promotion, conservation and wise use of Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pennsylvania.

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Continuing the Legacy

If you’ve been to a program or event at Grey Towers, enjoyed the gardens or the mansion, connected virtually or been inspired by our essence, chances are you have crossed paths with the Grey Towers Heritage Association.

As the primary partner providing support to the Forest Service for its public programming, outreach and connections, the GTHA and its volunteers work tirelessly behind the scenes to accomplish so much, such as:

Lecture/film series, including participation in the Milford Readers and Writers Festival;

Events: Festival of Wood, Ice Cream Social and National Public Lands Day;

Projects: Laurel Hill Cemetery, Pinchot Fire Tower and Milford Experimental Forest;

Social media/community connection: Web Site, Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact;

Public Programs: Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens readings; Cemetery dramatic production;

Volunteer support: annual awards and incentives.

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Our Volunteer Board:

Donated nearly 700 hours of service (value: $17,705);

Covered more than 4,000 miles

Provided cash support of more than $20,000 from donations, memberships and small grants.

If you like what we are doing, please consider continuing your support!

Want to get involved? Contact us at 570-296-9625 or info@greytowers.org.

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Every year, thousands of visitors learn, enjoy and experience this national icon through the variety of public programs we offer. The public would not enjoy the same level of programming without the support of the Grey Towers Heritage Association.

Bill Dauer, Grey Towers Director

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Previous Accomplishments

Leave a Legacy

“The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.”

Gifford Pinchot

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Programs & Events

  • Successfully held the 3rd Annual Grey Towers Heritage 8K Run/Walk. A Race Committee of ten individuals (GTHA members and non-members) coordinated the race. This year there were 116 participants. We raised approximately $3,700, which included donations of $2,068 for the wildflower planting and restoration of Gifford Pinchot’s canoe.
  • Lead two annual Milford Walking Tours (May and September). This tour takes the participants through Milford and connects its history with the Pinchot family. These tours are offered free as a service to the public. May Participants: 31; September (Tours in morning and afternoon) Participants: 66.
  • Successfully held our 4th year of Screen on the Green program featuring 2 films and a lecture. Both films were geared towards families with activities and crafts beforehand. The films shown were Ice Age 2 and Furry Vengeance. The latter was cosponsored with the Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society. The lecture focused on Gifford Pinchot: Conservationist and Forester.
  • Hosted three receptions after lecture series (Bibi Gaston (Gifford Pinchot and the Old Timers); Edgar Brannon (Spirituality of Gifford Pinchot) and Gary Ryman (Gifford Pinchot, Forester and Politician); open to the public.
  • Sponsored a table at the Pike County Library annual book fair featuring Woodsy the Owl
  • Designed and implemented a display of Gifford Pinchot’s artifacts at the Pike County Library for the month of August (150th birthday)
  • Supported the 11th Annual Festival of Wood through music (The Lost Ramblers and Dixieland Band) and sponsoring the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center serves as an educational component for the Festival. This exhibit was accomplished in coordination with a Grant from Walmart. Members staffed hospitality and educational table, featuring educational giveaways. Estimated visitors approached four thousand people.
  • Held the 3rd annual Community Appreciation Day (September 26th) to thank the community for all the support they give annually at Grey Towers. This day-long event included music and a magician.
  • Launched “Every Kid in the Park” national program, encouraging 4th graders to enjoy public parks. Department of Forestry Chief, Tom Tidwell announced the program.
  • Sponsored the annual re-creation of the Pinchot’s Ice Cream Social which we ask the community to bring a nonperishable food item which then is donated to the local food pantry. This year we received 171 non-perishable food items and a check for $88.50.
  • Sponsored Field Trip to Dorsky Museum (State University at New Paltz), featuring exclusive tour and lecture on Jervis McEntee, 19th century artist who benefited from patronage by James Pinchot.
  • Assisted with walking tour of Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery (October 24th) focusing on the Pinchot plot.
  • Sponsoring the annual “A Night with Poe” and “A Christmas Carol” dramatic readings. There are two shows offered for “A Night with Poe” and four performances of “A Christmas Carol”. This year 30 members of the Victorian Historical Society (New York) attended “A Christmas Carol” in connection with a field trip to Grey Towers.
  • Sponsored the summer and winter volunteer receptions. The winter reception includes the Holiday Art Show.

Education

  • Sponsored 2 interns to assist with public programs and tours at Grey Towers; hosted a summer gathering with all interns and the Board of GTHA
  • Sponsored 2 Scholars-in-Residence (Mary Murphy (Gender, Culture and Politics of Food: a Norther Borderland 1914-1941) and Bibi Gaston (Gifford Pinchot and the Old Timers).
  • Awarded the Heritage Scholar Grant (case studies assigned by US Forest Service Washington Office; first candidate: Terry Fifields arriving October 18th)
  • Awarded the Tribal Scholar Grant (research regarding Native American topics assigned by US Forest Service Washington Office)

Projects:

  • Completed upgrade of new website
  • Continued to upgrade Laurel Hill Cemetery through the restoration of gravesites, especially by the creation of non-invasive stabilization devices for the head stone. A vigorous effort was made to remove 39 stumps insuring the safe passage of visitors. Installation of new entry sign (nearest visitor parking lot)
  • Assisted with the Milford Experimental Forest.
  • Sponsoring work days to assist in building the new public trail.
    Purchased and coordinated the planting of 1500 wildflower bulbs near Cornelia’s apple orchard. Three local Garden Clubs assisted.
  • Restored Gifford Pinchot’s canoe for display at Grey Towers for Tour Season 2016 and then transferred to the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA.
  • Trail Work on the Grey Towers Forest Discovery Trail: Volunteers helped spread mulch on a section of the Forest Discovery Trail. As in the past, scouts and students from the local community helped with the workday.
  • Crafted an annual scrapbook featuring pictures and news clippings of events during the year. Cover was designed out of wood.
  • Continued to provide a Board Member to the Eastern National Forest Interpretive Association (ENFIA) and three  board members attended ENFIA Board Meeting in April.
  • Board Member met with Allegheny Society of American Foresters.
  • Expanded inventory in gift shop (Milford Rose; scarves; postcards of interior; photos)
  • Successfully raised $7,050 to sponsor free public programs and projects at Grey Towers.
    • Orange and Rockland: $1,000 – Community Appreciation Day
    • Wells Fargo: $1,000 –Conservation Education
    • Walmart: $850 – Pocono Wildlife Rehab Center at the Festival of Wood
    • UGI: $1,000 – Volunteer Appreciation and Community Appreciation Day
    • NEEF: $2,000 – Screen on the Green
    • NEEF: $750 – Public Lands Day
    • Pocono Arts Council – $1,200
  • Sponsored the summer and winter volunteer receptions. The winter reception includes the Holiday Art Show featuring the Artists’ work from the “Come Paint with Me” Program and a special exhibit of ultra-violent light pictures by Oleg Marsh.
  • Maintain the Grey Towers National Historic Site social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest page and the scholar-in-resident Wikipage. Initiated a Dropbox account for information sharing.
  • Hosting the Grey Towers National Historic Site 360 virtual tour on website.
  • Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program provided $4,000 in funds to support “Conservation History/Yale  School of Forestry Program”. Application has been renewed.
  • Volunteer Hours: 2217.90 (value: $51,166.95); Volunteer Miles: 6256  (value: $875.84); Total In-Kind Value: $52,042