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National Park Service seeks information after vandalism at Childs Park in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Park Rangers at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area are seeking tips from the public about recent vandalism at George W. Childs Park in Delaware Township, Pennsylvania.

Areas damaged include the historic Brooks Woolen Mill ruins and the original date stone. Bright red paint proclaiming “I (heart) Tara” was scrawled across the original 1892 date stone that once stood at the former entrance to the site, while more red paint was used on the walls of the woolen mill to write “I (heart) Anthony.” The graffiti is dated March 21, 2023.

“Not only is graffiti a crime, but it is also unsightly and damaging to the surface defaced, and removing it takes time, money, and staff,” said Kara Deutsch, Chief of Resource Management and Science, whose team is looking into the best way to remove the graffiti without doing any further damage. “Depending on the area damaged and what the surface is, it can take park staff quite some time to remove,” she added, “and often, a damaged site can never be fully restored to its original condition.”

The 155-acre site along Dingmans Creek is a popular destination within the park, featuring 3 scenic waterfalls surrounded by an historic trail system that threads through a cool, shady eastern hemlock ravine. Childs Park was the original vision of wealthy Philadelphia philanthropist and publisher George W. Childs who, along with friend George Donaldson, developed rustic trails and dedicated it to the public in 1892 as a place for people to enjoy nature.

Childs died in 1894 and his widow donated the site to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1912. It was operated as a state park until 1983 when the Commonwealth donated the property to the National Park Service.

Childs Park has been closed due to storm damage since 2018 and construction on the final phase of the restoration is set to begin in late spring, with re-opening scheduled for 2024. For more information on plans for upcoming construction at the site, click here.

Anyone with information is asked to call the park’s 24-hour emergency communication center at 570-426-2457.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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