Being born and raised a city kid, I was a far cry from what I’d call a “tree hugger” when I joined the Fairmount Park staff back in 2000. Now, the term tree hugger makes me smile as I’m proud to say I’ve learned to identify many trees and flowers that flourish within our city. As I youngster, I took William Penn’s “Greene Countrie Towne” for granted but now I truly appreciate the environment and enjoy nature at its finest more than I ever did.
I enjoy being outdoors, and I have visited many of the state parks located right here in our own Keystone State. I’ve camped in a yurt at Ohiopyle State Park, biked and kayaked the Lehigh Gorge during frequent visits to Jim Thorpe, explored the beautiful waterfalls at Ricketts Glen and biked thirty miles along the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon just to name a few. However, the most gratifying homespun trek was biking the Pennypack trail from the top of Pine Road all the way down to the mouth of the Pennypack Creek where it meets up with the Delaware River. The total trek took six hours round trip. Not only did I accomplish my goal, but I was able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest while cycling through my very own neighborhood park here in Philadelphia.