Just 10 miles south of Milford, in the visually stunning eastern Pocono Mountains, Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania and its neighboring communities are the ideal area for your next big scenic getaway. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Delaware River presented a large obstacle for pioneers looking to travel west. Andrew Dingman, a local Dutch settler, sought to remedy the issue of crossing the river. In the late 1730’s he built a flatboat ferry and began to help people and supplies traverse the river. Over the next hundred years the demand to cross the river increased greatly. Dingman’s descendants incorporated Dingmans Choice and Delaware Bridge Company in 1834, and received a charter from the state to build a bridge in the area. Today the area is recognized for its historical significance and the last incarnation of the bridge is still used by many commuters each day.
Dingmans Ferry and Milford present visitors with a wide selection of things to do. If you're a fan of the outdoors, you’ll love this area. The Delaware River Valley is full of great parks and outdoor areas ideal for photography, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, geocaching and so much more. Rivers, lakes and streams also provide opportunities for activities like rafting, canoeing, fishing, boating or just laying on the beach. The storied history of the area is on display at local museums and attractions such as: The Columns Museum, Pike County Historical Society & Columns Museum, The Historic Bridge at Dingman Ferry and Pocono Environmental Education Center. You’ll find unique shopping opportunities and a good selection of restaurants in Milford. A great way to get the full community experience here is by participating in one of the enjoyable local events like the Earth Day Festival at PEEC.
Now entering its second decade, the Earth Day Festival at PEEC (Pocono Environmental Education Center) is a great family event centered on fun, education and experiencing nature. Attendees will get the chance to learn about the changes they can make to help reduce negative impacts on the environment in their daily lives. Staff and volunteers will be on-hand providing information, taking people on hikes, and leading fun activities for patrons. Food and drink will be available in the concessions area and there will be plenty of vegetarian options for those with that preference. Make your next nature excursion both fun and educational. Head to the Eastern Poconos for the Earth Day Festival at PEEC! We got the opportunity to speak to Andrea Ace, Summer Camp Manager and Special Events Coordinator for the Pocono Environmental Education Center, to talk about the festival.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
AA: This will be the 21st year for our Earth Day Festival. Depending on weather, we tend to see anywhere from 300 to 600 guests in attendance. Most who attend are families with children, although a fair amount of adults and couples attend as well.
PEEC’s Earth Day Festival is a fun opportunity to learn more about recycling, the environment, and how to make small (and big) changes to reduce your environmental footprint. Staff and volunteers will lead interpretive hikes on PEEC’s trails, which are a part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
RAL: What makes the festival unique?
AA: As an environmental education center, Earth Day is close to our hearts and we let it show at our Earth Day Festival!
RAL: Take me through what attendees can expect during a typical day at the festival.
AA: The $5 per car admission fee includes numerous activities throughout the day! Here are just a few: tie dye (bring your own shirt or purchase one here), face painting, games, interpretive hikes, plant a seed, attend a mindfulness workshop, and practice yoga.
You can meet a park ranger from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, or enjoy live music from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. At 3:00 pm, watch a live animal show by Gerry Zelenka from A Touch of Nature.
Food and drinks are available for purchase, concession style. Vegetarian options are available and tend to be very popular. Other food items may be available through vendors and local farmers. The PEEC is nestled within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area with Earth Day Festival events taking place at both indoor and outdoor locations.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
AA: Vendors and exhibitors at the 2016 festival provide a way for community members to meet and interact with local organizations, businesses, and artists. Some of the planned activities and opportunities include planting a seed with the Dingmans Ferry Bridge Historical Society, meeting a park ranger from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area, watching stained glass demonstrations by Betty Ann, and meeting rescue dogs from Pibbles & More Animal Rescue, Inc.
RAL: Does the festival drive business to the local economy?
AA: Our Earth Day Festival aims to connect families with local vendors, crafters, artists, nonprofits, and other organizations. Keeping money within the local economy by supporting regional farmers, businesses, and artists is very important to us.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
AA: PEEC is a non-profit organization, and the $5 per car admission covers the cost of running the event. Any additional profit goes right back to providing educational programs to the general public. We also welcome other non-profit’s and educational institutions to our festivals. They will often disperse information to the public.
RAL: Why should people come?
AA: This is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, meet new people, and celebrate everything that is Earth Day. Families are invited to stroll around the exhibits, support local businesses, make a craft or two, go on a hike, and play some games! For a more laid-back experience, several options are available – relax, grab a bite to eat, and listen to music.
For more information about the Earth Day Festival at PEEc, please visit their website.