|Thursday, Aug 11, 2005|
(Above) Cabins at PEEC. Photo courtesy of James L. Bauer.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) for the rehabilitation of residential cabins at Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is available for public review through September 6, 2005. This document describes and examines the impacts of the proposed project.
PEEC is one of the oldest and largest public-private partnerships within the National Park Service. Since 1972, PEEC has utilized an extensive collection of existing buildings and associated lands within the park for the purpose of advancing environmental awareness, knowledge and skills of both children and adults in the field of environmental education. PEEC's modest facilities are the recycled remains of Honeymoon Haven, a 60s era Pocono resort. Over the years, there has been an effort on the part of both PEEC and the park to adaptively reuse these structures at a minimal cost to taxpayers. Nevertheless, it has been a struggle for PEEC to effectively employ these outmoded resort buildings to provide decent, safe and sanitary conditions for PEEC's clientele--25,000 annual visitors, including school groups, churches, families and other organizations.
The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to rehabilitate the residential cabins at PEEC in a manner that protects the resources and values for which the park was established and that benefits the visiting public by perpetuating the unique educational partnership that exists between the NPS and PEEC. Objectives include incorporating the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act , improving public safety, reducing overall maintenance requirements, and increasing green space on the campus. The EA evaluates three alternatives concerning the rehabilitation of PEEC, including the no action alternative.
The NPS preferred alternative is to remove and replace the existing cabins at PEEC. The total number of cabins and number of beds would be decreased in order to better meet PEEC's current needs and to be more in keeping with the projected occupancy rate. The EA examines the impacts of the preferred alternative and two other alternatives on soils, surface waters, vegetation, visitor use and experience, health and safety, and operations and maintenance.
The document will be available for review at the public libraries listed below, at park headquarters on River Road in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, and on the National Park Service Park Planning website (PEPC). It can be reached by choosing Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area under "Choose a park." A copy can also be requested by calling 570-588-2454. The following libraries will have copies:
Eastern Monroe Public Library, 1002 North Ninth St., Stroudsburg PA 18360 East Stroudsburg University, Kemp Library, East Stroudsburg PA 18301 Pike County Public Library, 201 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337 Sussex County Library, 125 Morris Turnpike, Newton, NJ 07860 Warren County Library, 199 Hardwick St., Belvidere, NJ 07823 Easton Area Public Library, 8th & Church Street, Easton PA 18042 PA State Office of Commonwealth Libraries, 33 Market St., Harrisburg PA 17126-1745 New Jersey State Library, 1865 West State St. CN 520, Trenton, NJ 08625
Submit written comments to: Superintendent, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, River Road Rehabilitation Project, River Road, Bushkill, PA 18324; or comments can be submitted electronically through the PEPC website provided above.