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DCNR Names New Park Manager for Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

04/01/2022

​Harrisburg, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced the appointment of Gavin Smith to serve as the park manager for Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County.

“Gavin’s experience and personality will be a wonderful addition to Kings Gap and the South Mountain community,” Dunn said. “During his time with DCNR, he has demonstrated a commitment to exemplary service and leadership, while helping further the department’s mission. I look forward to seeing his impact at the park.”

Smith will manage the park, which consists of 2,531 acres of forest on South Mountain, with more than 25 miles of hiking trails, a permanent orienteering course, picnicking, hunting, and other recreational and educational opportunities.

Kings Gap is one of several state parks specifically dedicated to providing environmental education and recreational programs to the citizens of Pennsylvania. A variety of programs are available for children, teachers, and the general public to increase knowledge and awareness of the values and function of our natural resources.

“Having this opportunity at this point in my career is really special – this is like a dream,” Smith said. “I love this park and am eager to continue the great work of the staff and volunteers, understanding the unique partnership and mutual support the community provides to Kings Gap.”

A native of Baltimore, Smith moved to York County where he completed his primary education and discovered his love of the outdoors. He holds an associate degree in social sciences from Harrisburg Area Community College and a bachelor’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University.

Smith has worked for DCNR in a number of roles, beginning as an environmental interpretive technician and environmental education specialist at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. He entered the manager training program and spent two years with the Park Operations and Maintenance Division within the Bureau of State Parks.

Smith then spent 10 years as an assistant manager at Gifford Pinchot State Park before taking over at Kings Gap. He succeeds longtime park manager Scott Hackenburg, who recently retired.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about Kings Gap Environmental Education Center or call 717-486-5031.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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