Salt Springs Park is a small, roughly 800 acre, two-parcel park located in Susquehanna County in North East Pennsylvania. It is the only state park in Pennsylvania that is managed and maintained by a volunteer non-profit organization, the Friends of Salt Springs Park. The park is open to the public, free of charge, from sunup to sundown, 365 days a year and boasts several beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, gardens, historic sites and buildings as well as camping and educational programs.
In August, 2018 the park suffered a severe blow when floodwaters overwhelmed the landscape and undermined the very infrastructure of our beautiful park. A wide swath of the property was affected when over 54” of water from nearby Silver Creek rushed through our new pavilion, meadows, camping area, organic gardens and parking area. In addition, our beautiful Fall Brook turned into a raging torrent, carrying boulders and whole trees from the gorge and upstream landscape, down into the confluence with Silver Creek. Where we once had a beautiful, grassy picnic area, we now have an acre of boulder size rocks and debris. The course of the brook has completely changed, and our rental property, the Calvin house, is no longer habitable due to the severe damage to the electric, water and sewer infrastructures supporting it. In addition, our very popular historic Threshing Barn Pavilion was moved 10 feet off its foundation, has no electrical service and may need to be moved and restored. Our camping cabins are also unsafe, and the bathrooms near the camping area can not be used until the infrastructure is restored.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of our local volunteers and the state road maintenance crew, our park is once again accessible for exploration. The parking area and meadow have been wonderfully restored from the flood damage in a very short two weeks! Grass seed has been spread, the paths and trails have been cleared, and the wooden footbridge, swept away by the raging waters of Fall Brook,has been replaced with a temporary stepping stone path across the brook. We are thankful to be able to hold our annual Salt Springs Celebration on Labor Day weekend to celebrate this effort.
But the infrastructure of our rental properties, pavilions and camping areas requires professional attention, and cannot be corrected by our volunteers. This represents a huge financial blow to the Friends of Salt Springs organization due to the loss of critical rental and camping income, added to the significant cost to repair and restore the infrastructure itself. For this reason, we have decided to start this GoFundMe campaign to appeal to our many friends, far and wide, who have enjoyed our park over the years, but who may be unaware of our current troubles.
This is the 5th flood our small community has suffered in this century! Each time the water has risen higher and higher despite our efforts to maintain the banks of Silver Creek. Our neighbors have been hit equally hard. We hope that all of you who have enjoyed our park over the years will be inspired by the resilience and hard work of the members of the Friends of Salt Springs Park, and help us find the funds we need to repair the infrastructure while continuing to offer our education programs, our trails and gardens.