National Park Service Releases Draft Visitor Use Management Plan for Public Review and Comment

BUSHKILL, PA- The National Park Service announced today that the draft Visitor Use Management Plan (VUM Plan) for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River is now available for public review and comment until December 6, 2019.  The VUM Plan was developed with input from the public and park stakeholders and is designed to maximize the park’s ability to provide recreational access and improve visitor experiences while protecting the parks’ natural and cultural resources.
During the development of the draft plan, the NPS sought public feedback and input during two rounds of public meetings and public comment periods.  “We are now asking our visitors, local residents, stakeholders, elected officials, and other interested parties to take one more look at the draft VUM Plan and the informational materials that we have provided and tell us what you think,” said Superintendent Sula Jacobs.  “Public involvement is essential to a successful planning effort.   Our team really wants and needs to hear your thoughts and ideas in order to make this a useful plan.  Your input helps ensure the park provides enhanced recreational access and improved experiences for our visitors, while also protecting the special places our visitors enjoy.”
How to Participate
The draft VUM Plan is available for a 60-day public review and comment period that closes on December 6, 2019.  All comments must be received by this date.

Review documents and comment online.  

The draft VUM Plan, a project newsletter, and all materials from the open house meetings will be available for review and written comments may be submitted at

Come to a meeting.  

The NPS will host 2 public open house meetings to share information about the draft VUM Plan and seek public input.  Comments can be submitted orally or in writing at the open house meetings.
  • Thursday, October 24, 6 - 8 pm
       Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 124 Evergreen Drive, Bushkill, PA 18324 
  • Saturday, October 26, 1-3 pm
Sussex County Technical School Auditorium, 105 North Church Road, Sparta, NJ 07871
Send us a letter
 Comments may be submitted by mail to Superintendent Sula Jacobs, ATTN: VUM Planning Team, 1978 River Road, Bushkill, PA, 18324.
Look for us at a Pop-up Meeting.  
A series of pop-up meetings will be held at various sites around the park and in local communities on weekends in October.  Staff will be stationed at special events and at busy areas in the park to share information and answer questions about the draft VUM Plan and how to comment.  Pop-up meetings will be announced on the park’s Facebook page at
For those without internet access, hard copies of the draft VUM Plan may be obtained by calling (570) 426-2418.  Emailed comments or comments made on social media will not be accepted. 
Goals of the draft VUM Plan
The National Park Service seeks to identify ways to achieve the following goals and objectives through the development and implementation of the draft VUM Plan: 
  • Minimize impacts to the park’s natural and cultural resources and visitor experiences caused by visitor use;
  • Enhance opportunities for the park’s key visitor experiences;
  • Assess the appropriateness of current and new/evolving visitor opportunities while considering visitor safety and resource protection; 
  • Align public expectations for use with availability of resources or infrastructure;
  • Increase understanding of existing and emerging visitor interests, use characteristics, patterns, and trends; 
  • Manage visitor demand and expectations throughout the park; 
  • Identify and evaluate and various visitor use management strategies; and
  • Project financial requirements and economic strategies to pay for each proposed action.

Proposed Actions
The draft VUM Plan details numerous proposed actions that the park would take as funds are available or to generate additional revenue.  These proposed actions include but are not limited to the following: 
  • Transition from the current practice of charging an amenity fee at 6 discrete areas to charging an entrance fee for all park users; the majority of the funds collected would remain in the park for use on deferred maintenance projects and to pay for the implementation of the strategies identified in the VUM Plan.  Entrance passes would cost $25/car, $20/motorcycle, and $15/person for a 7-day pass; annual passes would be available for $45. 
  • Add up to 20 new river campsites, improve facilities at existing campsites, and implement a reservation and fee system for river campsite use; campsites would cost $16 per night;
  • Explore the possibility of developing a new river access on the New Jersey side of the park;
  • Develop picnic sites that can accommodate large groups; implement a permit/reservation system to regulate use levels; and enhance and improve current picnic facilities;
  • Improve the trail system by linking trail networks, enhancing accessibility, and diversifying experiences;
  • Provide or improve universal access at key locations throughout the park to offer a range of recreational opportunities for a variety of users;
  • Modernize delivery and strategically locate education and interpretation services including a mobile visitor center and increased partnerships.

Why COLUMBUS Day came to be....

For many Italian Americans, Columbus Day has long been their day to celebrate Italian heritage and the contributions of Italian Americans to the United States. It was adopted at a time when Italians were being vilified and faced both religious and ethnic discrimination.

{BTW it is observed by various countries in the Americas as Día de la Raza, in Italy, Spain, and various Little Italys around the world.}

It was made a national holiday in 1934 to honor a man who, ironically, never set foot in the United States - as Columbus actually anchored in the Bahamas. The first commemoration came in 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed a one-time national celebration - one year after a mass lynching of 11 Italian Americans by a mob in New Orleans. Italian Americans then held onto that day as a way to mainstream and humanize themselves in the face of rampant discrimination.

For many Italian Americans, Columbus Day isn't mostly about the individual but about what the day represents: a people searching for safety and acceptance in their new home.

National Italian American Foundation, John M. Viola, wrote in a 2017 New York Times editorial"The 'tearing down of history' does not change that history. In the wake of the cultural conflict that has ripped us apart over these months, I wonder if we as a country can't find better ways to utilize our history to eradicate racism instead of inciting it. Can't the monuments and holidays born of our past be reimagined to represent new values for our future?"

He went on to write, "We believe Christopher Columbus represents the values of discovery and risk that are at the heart of the American dream, and that it is our job as the community most closely associated with his legacy to be at the forefront of a sensitive and engaging path forward, toward a solution that considers all sides."
Adaptation of article re:   Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples' Day?

If you missed Sat.'s conference at SCCC 
- here's a chance to get updated information.

Remain alert -  ticks will be active in damp weather.

Eighteenth anniversary of 9/11

Many under the age of twenty are unaware 
of the impact of all that happened on that day. 
Those of us who lived though it will never forget
 where we were, when the first news
 of a plane hitting one of the iconic 
Twin Towers in NYC reached us.

History Channel video:
A timeline of the attacks on the World Trade Center 
in New York City on September 11, 2001.

Made By Messina

                               September 11th, 2001 
          First Responders Tribute
"This was not easy to make, and
 it's not easy to watch, 
but ...
when this horrific attack happened, 
New York City turned to the first responders 
as they fled towards the nightmarish scene.

To all the hero's that day, 
I made this video as a thank you. 
Uniform or no uniform. 

As the events of September 11th 
unfolded on our country 
the world lost a lot of innocent lives. 

These tragedies caused New York City to come together, this country to come together 
and the world to come together. 

To The Survivors & To The Fallen 
We Will Never Forget."
A bit of history about LABOR DAY

1956 postage stamp

How Labor Day Originated 
In the spring of 1880, General Secretary P. J. McGuire, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, first originated the observance of a distinct and now holiday- with parade and picnic - to be known as "Labor Day." He broached the idea to several labor men and then to the Central Labor union of New York, and got them to adopt it. The first Monday in September, 1882, was agreed upon as the day for the first public observance of '' Labor Day." 
The first attempt was deemed to be so successful by the Central Labor union that it decided to celebrate the first Monday in September every year as labor's holiday. The plan was then indorsed by the annual convention of the American Federation of Labor, and by the general assembly of the Knights of Labor. The idea met with favor in other cities and states, and the labor organizations in them observed the day in various ways - by parades, festivals, excursions, or meetings, and have continued to do so. - Carpenter.


Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1887.
Image ID: G91F182_026F
Read more background info at