Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the appointment of Kaitlyn Gundersen-Thorpe as manager at the Neshaminy State Park Complex in Bucks and Philadelphia counties. Gundersen-Thorpe is the former assistant manager at Promised Land State Park in Pike County.
“Transitioning from ranger to managerial positions within the Bureau of State Parks, Kaitlyn quickly has distinguished herself with public relations and administrative skills,” Dunn said. “Those qualities will well serve visitors to Neshaminy and Benjamin Rush, two busy state parks in the heavily populated southeast section of the state.”
From her Neshaminy headquarters in lower Bucks County, Gundersen-Thorpe will oversee that park’s 339 acres along the Delaware River, as well as Benjamin Rush, a nearby 275-acre state park in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.
“I always have loved outdoor recreation, from camping trips with my family as a kid to hiking and running on state park trails as an adult,” said Gundersen-Thorpe. “I am excited to work in the southeast again and help promote and protect our valuable resources alongside such a dedicated staff and community.”
Named for Neshaminy Creek, which joins the Delaware at the park, Neshaminy is a popular draw with river boaters taking advantage of launching and mooring facilities. Park acreage also offers picnic areas, a swimming pool, and separate children’s spray park.
Located off Route 1, Benjamin Rush is Philadelphia’s only state park. Known for its large community garden and large area devoted to flying of radio-controlled model airplanes, the park is popular with hikers, birders, and outdoors enthusiasts.
Gundersen-Thorpe began as a DCNR Ranger in 2014 at Ridley Creek State Park, Delaware County. Three years later she entered DCNR’s Region 4 manager trainee program, based at Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County. Serving as the assistant manager, she most recently worked at Promised Land State Park.
Gundersen-Thorpe succeeds Brian Heath, who recently was named manager at Gifford Pinchot State Park in York County.
A native of West Berlin, Camden County, New Jersey, Gundersen-Thorpe, 29, hold a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation from Juniata College and a master’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock State University of Pennsylvania. She is married to David Thorpe.
For more information on Neshaminy, Benjamin Rush and Pennsylvania’s other 119 state parks visit DCNR's website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-705-2225