DAUPHIN, Pa. (WHTM) – A new 411-acre park is opening in Dauphin County just in time to explore for summer.
Detweiler Park is just 10 minutes from Harrisburg and has nine miles of trails, forest, creeks and wildlife such as turkey and deer.
The park is the county’s eighth-largest. Some areas will be left undisturbed so residents can explore its natural beauty, but other areas will be open for the possibility of zip lines and outdoor events.
A Monday morning ribbon cutting included county commissioners, state senators, representatives of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Middle Paxton Township, and the Detweiler family.
Four generations of Detweilers lived on the property before the family donated the property to the county. Generations of the Detweiler family are cremated with their ashes spread on the land. They say it’s a special place they want to share with other families for generations to come.
“It’s a nice place to go when you need to clear your thoughts. It’s very therapeutic to come up here and just walk. It’s very nice,” said 27-year-old John Detweiler, who explored and fished on the property while visiting his grandparents.
“It’s about generations of family and youth being able to learn about the beautiful forest and landscape,” Susan Detweiler, whose late husband’s ashes are spread on the ground, said with a shaky and emotional voice. “Enjoy it in your own way. It’s personal and it’s yours now.”
“Thank you for your leadership, and hopefully your leadership will encourage other people of goodwill,” State Sen. John DiSanto said.
“$887,500 is a big grant for us, but this is a truly remarkable habitat,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “It’s the first mountain ridge headed north, a flyaway for migratory birds and fresh water running into the Susquehanna River. It’s important as a gateway to Clark’s Valley.”
“Congratulations to the Detweilers,” she said. “Your family just got a whole lot bigger.”
The county is looking for input from the community. If you have an idea for the park, go to http://www.dauphincounty.org/government/Parks-and-Recreation/Dauphin-County-Parks/Pages/Detweiler-Park.aspx