This event includes a walk along the property and special guests and family members to reflect on his commitment to conservation.

WHAT: The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) will hold a dedication ceremony to officially open its new 24-acre natural area, called the Dr. Colson E. Blakeslee Memorial Recreation Area. This area in Elk County is being named in honor and memory of the local doctor and emeritus WPC board member. Blakeslee, fondly known as “Doc,” was a tireless advocate for conservation efforts in Elk and nearby counties, including the Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek restoration. He strongly believed increasing public access to this remediated creek was important for local residents and visitors. After the dedication ceremony, the area will be open to the public for fishing, hiking, hunting and wildlife viewing.

WHEN: Monday, June 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. The dedication will begin at 11 a.m., with a short ceremony of speakers followed by a brief walk on one of the trails.

WHERE: The new natural area is located off Route 555 in Medix Run, Pa., in Elk County. Attendees are encouraged to park at the Medix Run Hotel and walk a short distance to the entrance of the area. The hotel’s address is 23155 Quehanna Highway, Weedville, Pa., 15868. View a map here.

WHO: Representatives from WPC and various special guests will provide remarks. Those guests include: Eric Cavazza, P.E., Director, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Department of Environmental Protection; William C. Conrad, Executive Director, Stackpole-Hall Foundation and WPC Board Member; and members of Doc Blakeslee’s family. This event is open to the public.

WHY: Blakeslee was a strong advocate for conservation efforts throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and WPC board member from 1979 until his death in 2011. He was also a founder of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, board member of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited and staunch supporter of the Bennett Branch Watershed Association. He was a beloved physician from Dubois, Pa., who connected physical health with the wellbeing of the environment. His hard work to connect the public to nature and advocate for cleaner waterways and restoration efforts are now a reality, and a beautiful legacy to our community. The new recreation area has parking for up to seven vehicles. A memorial plaque and visitor signage are mounted at the trailhead to provide more information on Blakeslee, as well as uses for the area.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 252,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Carmen Bray
Director of Communications