Newsletter - November, 2004

Dear Friend of Ridley Creek State Park,

As the year comes to a close and the holiday season is upon us, we want to let you know that the "Friends" are far from hibernating! Here are just a few highlights of recent month's activities:

Earlier this month, the annual photo contest awards ceremony was held in the mansion ballroom. The contest generated close to 200 phenomenal entries, new volunteers, monetary donations and Friends members.
If you were fortunate to partake in the day's festivities, you know that in addition to good cooks, there are a lot of enthusiastic and talented photographers in our area! If you would like to take a look at some of the winning photos and get your start on next year's contest, please go to

Take a stroll through the formal gardens one afternoon and you will notice, in addition to the newly refurbished fountain, the surrounding gardens have been replanted with the help of 90 students from Westtown Friends School, with the guidance of Jennifer Pennington, our resident expert from Longwood Gardens. Try as we may, we have not been able to document the original plans for the garden as it was established. Instead, this garden plan coordinates the colors of each individual garden in the style of a garden from the turn of the century. A significant dollar investment was made on the part of the Park and the Friends to accomplish this fantastic display. Your money, hard at work. See more detailed articles and pictures at our website under "gardens."
The work does not stop there. With the help of Eagle Scout Candidate Shawn McGonigle, a new path is being established around the ballroom on the west side of the mansion. This area has been little more than a mud hole for years.
The path will return the area to a lovely veranda with gardens and benches to complete the wonderful experience one has when using the ballroom. As an Eagle project, Shawn is expected to detail the project and provide the man power and some of the material involved. The project is a major undertaking, requiring 26 tons of rock dust to complete the path and more than a ton of flagstone to be inlayed. Over the next year, this area will mature and grow into a lovely area and plans are on the drawing broad to complete the patio by spring of next year.

If you have been looking for a way to volunteer at the Park but prefer to work with people rather than plants, there is an opportunity to work as a volunteer at the Front Desk. The full time staff has been reduced for the winter but the Park still receives visitors.People are needed to answer the phone and answer general questions. Training will be provided. You can learn more about this position at, by replying to this email, or sending one directly to Park Manager, Roger McChesney at

The monthly trail workers will be meeting this Saturday at 9am at the ranger's station and work until 12pm. Work off those holiday pounds while enhancing the White Trail! There will be a "surprise guest" and snacks will be provided. Please come dressed for the weather. The Park will supply the needed tools. Please pre-register by emailing or call Howard Sherman at 610-626-0751. In addition, the 2005 trail work schedule is posted on the Friends website at

Finally, if you have been moved/inspired by any of these projects and would like to volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation, you can email us directly from the website or respond to this email for additional information.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
The Friends of Ridley Creek State Park

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