This spring, Milford Boy Scout Troop #71 assisted Dingman Township and Pike County Conservation District with the installation of trail markers on the Cornelia and Florence Trails at the Bridge Preserve.

DINGMAN TWP. - This spring, Milford Boy Scout Troop #71 assisted Dingman Township and Pike County Conservation District with the installation of trail markers on the Cornelia and Florence Trails at the Bridge Preserve.

As reported by the Pike County Conservation District in their newsletter, the District partnered with the Township to obtain funds through a PA Department of Environmental Education Grant. This helped pay for educational outreach programs and informational signage for the Preserve property.
Additional signage was installed near a rain garden.

The Boy Scouts, Dingman Township and Conservation District staff identified plants and installed signs in time for the Township’s May 20 Bridge Preserve Celebration Day. Funding for the signage project was provided by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Education Grants.

Dingman Township Supervisors Tom Mincer and Dennis Brink recognized the scouts for their contribution, at the event.

Background

Cornelia and Florence Bridge Preserve is named in memory of the wife and mother of Township native, Charles C. Bridge, who donated his family's 300 acre property to Dingman Township. The donation was made public on August 8, 2007.

Charlie had two specific visions for the property - to honor his late wife Florence’s and mother Cornelia’s dream of preserving the property and to honor their wish that the land be accessible for public enjoyment.  He also requested that the Park be named the Cornelia and Florence Bridge Preserve in their honor.
Bridge was one of the original members of the Dingman Township Planning Commission. After announcing the gift, Bridge went to work to obtain a conservation easement for the property through the North American Land Trust. This would ensure the land would never be developed.

Attorney John H. Klemeyer and Davis R. Chant spent much time on the property transfer process.
Charles Bridge passed away in December 2008. After his death, his family bequeathed substantial money from Charlie’s and his late wife Florence’s estates to assist the Township with the development and maintenance of the preserve for public access.

The Bridge family’s association with the property extends back to 1874.

Where it is

The preserve is bisected by US Route 6. The southern portion is in Dingman Township. The northern portion is in Milford Township. Because of that, the Dingman Township Board of Supervisors invited Milford Township to join with them in designing and developing the Park.

Karen Kleist, Dingman Township Secretary and Treasurer, said that the trail system is open to the public from dawn to dusk, every day.

Only the northern section is open at this time; trail work for the southern section will be a future phase.
The first trail, known as the Cornelia Trail, is handicapped accessible and is six tenths of a mile long.
This leads to a meadow where there is a picnic pavilion and restrooms. From there, one may hike the Florence Trail and May loop trail, which together total around a mile and a half. These are earthen trails.
The preserve contains forests and wetlands, as well the meadow area. The trails bypass the wetland areas. A small spring-fed pond may be seen from the end of Florence Trail.

This summer, Kleist said, the Township plans to develop another branch, the Frank Trail, which will be three fourths of a mile. The Frank Trail is being funded through a mini-grant provided by the Pike County Scenic Rural Preservation Board.

Trail maps are available at a kiosk at the parking area.

For more information about the Cornelia and Florence Bridge Preserve, including a trail map, visit the Dingman Township web site at: http://www.dingmantownship.org/ParkRelated/preserve%20brochure%2011x17.pdf.

More pictures from the May 20th event are shown at the Dingman Township Facebook page.