Operational changes coming to Beltzville State Park to alleviate overcrowding

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LEHIGHON, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Operational changes are being made to a popular local state park in anticipation of a busy summer.

The state is cracking down on overcrowding at Beltzville State Park. Officials with the PA Department of Conservation hope the new regulations will keep visitors safe from COVID-19, and at the same time, let them enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

“The capacity issue in the park really has a lot to do with safety too. Can you park safely, can you have a good experience, and so we’re aiming to educate people about alternative places to try,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.

And it’s not just enforcing the capacity limits on on busy weekends. The DCNR is also tackling the trash problem that has plagued the park after a 32 percent increase in attendance last year.

“I’ve seen there’s a lot of people up here, and I know the people that are from this area don’t like that there’s so much garbage, which I don’t blame them,” Bryant Corley of Jim Thorpe said.

“We’re doing a lot of education around litter, we’re putting additional receptacles in place, making them more visible,” Dunn said.

Jose Mas of Allentown and his family came to Beltzville on Wednesday and immediately noticed more waste baskets around the park.

“Seeing just what’s out here. We heard that they were taking care of the park more lately, so we wanted to come out and check it out for ourselves,” Mas said.

And to make sure visitors follow the rules, they’re deploying more state and local law enforcement. Corley has been a regular at Beltzville for over five years and works out at the park. He is optimistic the changes will have a positive impact this summer.

“If people get more concerned and more involved, you can always make change,” Corley said.

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