Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the appointment of Christopher Houck as manager of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Cumberland County. He is the former assistant manager at French Creek State Park, Berks County.
“Chris will be overseeing one of our more popular state parks where annual attendance surpasses 334,000 visitors a year,” said Dunn. “From his most recent French Creek assignment in Berks County he brings a wide range of skills and qualifications that can only enhance the visitor experience at Pine Grove.”
Houck will be heading operations at the 696-acre Pine Grove facility near Gardners, in the mountainous section of southern Cumberland County.
Boaters, swimmers and anglers are drawn to the park where the 25-acre Laurel Lake and 1.7- acre Fuller Lake serve as focal points.
A native of State College, Centre County, Houck will oversee a park enveloped in Michaux State Forest and bisected by the Appalachian Trail.
Steeped in natural beauty, the park contains a variety of historical features closely tied to the early iron ore industry.
“When I picture what a state park should be, I picture a place just like Pine Grove Furnace State Park,” Houck said. “Pine Grove has all the outdoor recreational activities you would expect, educational opportunities, and a rich history that can still be seen in remnants around the park. And all of this being surrounded by thousands of acres of state forest.”
Houck, 36, succeeds Michael Kutzmonich, who was named assistant regional manager of the Bureau of State Parks’ Region 3, based in Bedford County.
The new Pine Grove manager began his bureau career at Black Moshannon State Park, Centre County, working first as a laborer and then ranger.
Completing the bureau’s park manager trainee program in Region 4, Bucks County, he was assigned as the manager of the Memorial Lake/Swatara State Park Complex, Lebanon County, and then assistant manager at the French Creek State Park Complex.
Houck holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation, park, and tourism management from the Pennsylvania State University.
For more information on Pine Grove Furnace State Park, call 1-888-PA-PARKS, from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-877-6315