Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the appointment of Ben Monk as manager of Beltzville State Park, Carbon County.
He previously had served as assistant park manager at Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County.
“Ben honed a combination of keen administrative skills and field experience at Ohiopyle, among our busiest and most popular state parks,” said Dunn, “and these qualifications can only enhance the experience at Beltzville for its increasingly large number of park visitors.”
Monk will oversee 2,972 acres developed around Beltzville Dam, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project.
A popular fishing and boating lake where unlimited horsepower motors are permitted, Beltzville Lake covers 949 acres and has a shoreline of 19.8 miles.
The park is located along the Pohopoco Creek with recreation areas around the lake.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside the Beltzville staff to continue to protect and promote the park’s wide range of important resources,” Monk said.
The land and lake at Beltzville State Park are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and managed for recreation by DCNR and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The lease with the corps, as well as the source of federal funds used to obtain the lands at Beltzville, require that no person be excluded from public use of the premises.
In mid-summer, DCNR announced a number of operational changes at Beltzville State Park in connection with safety related to overcrowding on weekends and when the weather is favorable. DCNR measures addressed crowding, parking, litter, and other issues related to Beltzville’s popularity.
A Visitor Use and Impact Study with Pennsylvania Penn State University researchers is near completion to examine many issues related to high use at Beltzville State Park on holidays and weekends in the summer.
Beltzville saw record attendance in summer 2020, as did most of Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks.
During the pandemic, state park attendance increased from 37 million in 2019 to more than 45.3 million in 2020, a 22.4 percent increase.
Monk replaces Alma Jacobs, who was named assistant manager of the French Creek State Park Complex, based in Berks County.
The new Beltzville park manager began his career with the Bureau of State Parks as a manager trainee in 2014 and assumed the assistant manager’s post at Ohiopyle State Park in December 2015.
Monk, 37, a native of Hopwood, Fayette County, holds a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management from California University of Pennsylvania.
Attaining the rank of specialist, he served six years with the U.S. Army’s Military Police and was deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He and his wife, Kristen, are the parents of two young children.
For more information on the Beltzville 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