The history of Pennsylvania’s public lands is closely intertwined with African American history. Before they were state parks and forests, many of these areas were crisscrossed with Underground Railroad routes, and dotted with abolitionist strongholds and communities of formerly enslaved people. This month, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is honoring that legacy and recognizing some of the Black Pennsylvanians who’ve played a role in preserving it. But DCNR’s Chris Novak says the agency still has work to do when it comes to diversifying its workforce.
Road to Freedom: South Mountain Underground Railroad (Franklin County Visitors Bureau)
PA’s First African-American State Forester: Ralph Elwood Brock (PA Environment Digest)