DCNR Appoints New Park Manager for Kings Gap Environmental Education Center | The Sentinel: News

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced on Friday the appointment of Gavin Smith as park superintendent of the Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County.

“Gavin’s experience and personality will be a wonderful addition to Kings Gap and the South Mountain community,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said in a press release. I can’t wait to see its impact on the park.

Smith will manage the park, which consists of 2,531 acres of forest on South Mountain, with more than 25 miles of hiking trails, a permanent orienteering course, picnicking, hunting and other recreational opportunities and educational.

“To have this opportunity at this point in my career is really special – it’s like a dream,” Smith said. “I love this park and look forward to continuing the great work of the staff and volunteers, understanding the unique partnership and mutual support the community provides at Kings Gap.”

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Originally from Baltimore, Smith moved to York County where he completed his elementary education, according to the press release. He holds an associate’s degree in social science from Harrisburg Area Community College and a bachelor’s degree in parks and resource management from Slippery Rock University.

Smith worked for DCNR in a number of roles, beginning as an Environmental Interpretation Technician and Environmental Education Specialist at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. He entered the Manager’s Training Program and spent two years in the Parks Operations and Maintenance Division within the Bureau of State Parks.

Smith then spent 10 years as assistant manager at Gifford Pinchot State Park before taking over at Kings Gap. He succeeds longtime park manager Scott Hackenburg, who recently retired.

Email Jeff at jpratt@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @SentinelPratt.