Harrisburg, PA - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials have announced the appointment of new managers at Hills Creek State Park Complex, Tioga County, and Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County.
Ben Stone, who is in his twelfth year with the Bureau of State Parks, was named park operations manager at the Hills Creek State Park Complex, and James McCorkle takes over at Parker Dam.
"With a wealth of public relations and managerial skills, both managers bring to their new posts solid leadership backgrounds that can only benefit the park visitor’s experience,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.
A graduate of Lock Haven University, Stone began his career with the Bureau of State Parks in 2006 as a park manager trainee, working at Sizerville State Park in Cameron and Potter counties. In 2007 he was assigned as assistant manager at Hills Creek State Park Complex, where he returned 10 years later. In 2012, he was appointed manager at Caledonia State Park Complex in Adams and Franklin counties. Before his Hill Creek position, he served as manager at Ricketts Glen State Park in Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties.
“I have worked with a lot of great people in this agency, and I hope to share some of my experiences with my staff and contribute to the hard work that’s already begun,” said Stone. “Tioga and Potter counties have many recreational opportunities and numerous dedicated partners. I’m excited to get to work and support the Hills Creek Park Complex operation and promote our outdoor connections.”
The complex includes Hills Creek, Colton Point and Leonard Harrison state parks, all in Tioga County, and Lyman Run, Cherry Springs, Prouty Place, Patterson and Denton Hill, all in Potter County.
Stone succeeds Harry “Chip” Harrison, who retired.
McCorkle, a Butler native, has an associate’s degree in parks and recreation from Butler County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University. He started in the state park system as a park manager trainee for the Cameron County-based Region 1 in 2007, and was named manager at Chapman State Park, Warren County, in 2009. He began his most recent position in 2013 as the assistant park manager at Laurel Hill State Park Complex, Somerset County.
McCorkle will oversee a 968-acre park that features uninhibited charm and character. A rustic, remote park in the heart of Moshannon State Forest, Parker Dam offers picturesque forests, swamp meadowns, pine plantations and mixed hardwoods. In addition, visitors are drawn to the park's scenic lake, quaint campground and forestlands.
McCorkle has been looking forward to this assignment since he first started with the Bureau of State Parks in 2007.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be working at one of the flagship parks in Park Region 1,” he said. “My first assignment as a park manager trainee was interim manager at Parker Dam complex while the then-manager was on maternity leave and I’ve been looking forward to coming back ever since.”
McCorkle is replacing Josh Bruce, the new park manager at Reeds Gap State Park in Mifflin County.