BEACH LAKE, PA – In the days of log rafts and pioneers, free-flowing rivers were the lifeblood of commerce, transportation, and fisheries across America. Today, they are critical yet often-overlooked sources of clean water, critical habitat, and rejuvenating recreation for Americans seeking a break from today’s frenetic world.
Across the nation, river enthusiasts, communities, and government agencies are preparing to celebrate free-flowing rivers with the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. Congress passed this landmark legislation on October 2, 1968, to preserve selected rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Since the passage of the act over 12,734 river miles have been protected with 73.4 miles falling under Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
Upper Delaware begins this celebration with an invitation for everyone to experience the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Upper Delaware River without leaving the comfort of your home with the unveiling of the Upper Delaware Virtual Tour and the National Park Service’s On-line Museum.
The Upper Delaware Virtual Tour explores the extraordinary resources of the park through five interactive modules covering History and Culture, River Access Points, Wildlife & Ecology, Hiking Trails, and River Recreation. With a click of your mouse you can soar over the upper Delaware River from high above the rapids, feel the power of a bald eagle as it takes flight, experience the excitement of fly fishing, take a drive along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, and enjoy the serenity of the Cobey Pond Trail.
The Virtual Tour was designed by Eric Rowe and Jordan Lewis of Quiet Life Films. They spent many hours over two years exploring the park and documenting what they discovered with film and still images. They received a Special Recognition Award from the Upper Delaware Council in 2016 for highlighting and making accessible the outstanding resources of the upper Delaware River in a way that is interactive, immersive, educational, and entertaining.
The National Park Services provides stewardship for over 175 million objects and archives, but less than 1% of those collections are on exhibit for the American people to see. At Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River only 227 of the over 150,000 objects and archives in the park museum collection are on exhibit at the Zane Grey Museum.
Through an innovative on-line tool, the NPS Web Catalog, the public may now access over 200 of the park’s museum objects and archives. This includes objects and photographs from the Zane Grey Collection never before seen by the public. Through these artifacts we can better connect with and understand life in the river valley in the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of these objects will be both familiar and strange such as fish hooks and lures used by Zane Grey, building blocks played with by the Grey children, a microscope and binoculars from the 1800s, and Zane Grey’s baseball socks. The National Park Service has a long history of preserving the stories and tangible objects associated with America’s past. However, it is only when these stories and artifacts are accessible to the public that future generations will come to fully appreciate the rich cultural history of the river valley.
To visit the Upper Delaware Virtual tour go to www.nps.gov/upde and to explore the National Park Service’s On-line Museum visit https://museum.nps.gov and select Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River from the list of parks. If you would like more information about either site please call the park at 570-685-4871 press 2.
Contact: Ingrid Peterec, Chief of Interpretation
(570) 685-4871 ext. 6605
Photo caption: This winter take a minute to rejuvenate yourself by ‘virtually’ visiting the spectacular scenery at the top of the Bouchoux Trail.
Photo credit: Eric Rowe.