Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center


Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center

Geobox Protected Area
name = Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category_local = Pennsylvania State Park
category_iucn = III


image_caption =
etymology_type =
etymology =
country = United States
state = Pennsylvania
region_type = County
region = Cumberland
district_type = Townships
district = Cooke
district1 = Dickinson
district2 = Penn
city =
location =
lat_d = 40
lat_m = 05
lat_s = 42
lat_NS = N
long_d = 77
long_m = 17
long_s = 17
long_EW = W
location_note = cite web
url=Gnis3|1198252
title=Kings Gap State Park
date = August 30 1990
work=Geographic Names Information System
publisher=United States Geological Survey
accessdate=2008-03-29
]
elevation_imperial = 801
elevation_round = 1
elevation_note =
area_unit = acre
area_imperial = 1454
area_round = 1
area1_imperial =
area1_type =
length_imperial =
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biome =
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geology =
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plant =
plant1 =
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established_type =
established = 1973
management_body = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
management_location =
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visitation =
visitation_year =
free_type = Nearest city
free = Carlisle, Pennsylvania
free1_type =
free1 =


map_caption = Location of Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center in Pennsylvania
map_locator = Pennsylvania
map_first = yes
website = [http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/kingsgap.aspx Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center]

Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center is a convert|1545|acre|km2|2|adj=on Pennsylvania State Park in Cooke, Dickinson and Penn Townships, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the land in 1973, from the C. H. Masland and Son Carpet Company. Kings Gap State Park is convert|2.5|mi|1 from Pennsylvania Route 233 on South Mountain.

History

Charcoal Furnaces

The early days of Kings Gap are tied to the charcoal industry. Before the discovery of coal, charcoal was used to fire the furnaces of the iron furnaces. The demand for charcoal was great. One iron furnace could consume one acre (0.004 km²) of forest in one day. Massive charcoal furnaces were built at Kings Gap to meet these needs. The charcoal was created by stacking timber around large hearths. The hearths were fired by a collier. The collier tended the hearths for 10 to 14 days until the charcoal was ready. This industry was the dominant industry at Kings Gap for nearly 150 years. The forests were allowed to regrow for about 25 years until they were ready to be harvested again. When coal was discovered the need for charcoal disappeared and the forests have regrown. Reminders of the charcoal industry are visible today at Kings Gap State Park. Large circular areas of mostly barren land are located at the sites of the former furnaces and pieces of charcoal can still be found in the woods of the park.

Kings Gap Mansion

James McCormick Cameron, a Pennsylvania businessman built the mansion at Kings Gap in 1908 on convert|2700|acre|km2|1. He allowed the surrounding land to be reforested. The mansion is approximately convert|200|ft|0 long and is built from Antietam quartzite that was quarried from the area. The house has 32 rooms and resembles an Italian villa with a flat roof and large windows. Cameron also built an ice house that was used to store vegetables, a stone walled vegetable garden, and a water tower that holds convert|10000|USgal|l|0 of water and is still being used today. The grounds of the mansion also included a carriage house, generator building and a brick caretakers house.cite web
url = http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/Parks/kingsgap_history.aspx
title = Kings Gap State Park History
accessdate = 2006-11-14
publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
]

James Cameron passed away in 1949 and the property was sold to the C. H. Masland and Son Carpet Company. The company added carpet, wallpaper and new furnishings to the mansion and used it as a training center for employees and sales representatives. The bedrooms were used to showcase the latest options in Masland carpet. The Masland Company became involved in several land management projects. They planted 42 acres of pine trees at the base of the mountain and built the pond that is still being used today.

The Nature Conservancy and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania worked together to acquire the mansion and land from C. H. Masland and Son Carpet Company in 1973. The environmental education center was opened in 1977.

Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center

Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center is an education and training center for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They provide training for forest and park rangers employed by the state. The PDCNR also gives environmental education lessons to students and teachers from Pennsylvania at Kings Gap.cite web
url = http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/Parks/kingsgap.aspx
title = Kings Gap State Park
accessdate = 2006-11-14
publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
]

Recreation

There is an orienteering course at Kings Gap State Park. Hunting is permitted on several hundred acres of Kings Gap State Park. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The common game species are gray squirrels, turkey, and white-tailed deer.

Nature

Kings Gap State Park has a wide variety of wild plants and animals. Turkey vultures can be seen near the summit of the of mountain. Reptiles including the box turtle, five-lined skink, copperhead snakes and timber rattlesnakes. The plant life is diverse as well. Wild blueberry, huckleberry and mountain laurel can be found in the woods with large stands of chestnut oak, white pine, larch and Douglas fir. Vernal pools appear in the springtime. These pools provide habitats and breeding area for amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and spring peepers.

Nearby state parks

The following state parks are within convert|30|mi|0 of Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center: [cite web
url = http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/region_dutch.aspx
title = Map ref for Kings Gap State Park
accessdate = 2006-11-14
publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
] cite web
last = Michels
first = Chris
year = 1997
url = http://www2.nau.edu/~cvm/latlongdist.html
title = Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation
publisher = Northern Arizona University
accessdate = 2008-04-23
] [cite map |scale = 1:65,000| publisher= Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division
url= ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_pdf_files/Maps/GHS/Roadnames/cumberland_GHSN.PDF
title= 2007 General Highway Map Cumberland County Pennsylvania
accessdate= 2007-07-27
"Note: shows Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center"
]
*Big Spring State Park (Perry County)
*Caledonia State Park (Adams and Franklin counties)
*Codorus State Park (York County)
*Colonel Denning State Park (Cumberland County)
*Fowlers Hollow State Park (Perry County)
*Gifford Pinchot State Park (York County)
*Little Buffalo State Park (Perry County)
*Mont Alto State Park (Franklin County)
*Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Cumberland County)

References

External links

*PDFlink| [http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/kingsgap/kingsgap_mini.pdf Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center official map] |490 KB


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