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DCNR evaluating overcrowding at Beltzville

Published May 16. 2018 11:45AM

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials today met with local legislators to update them on plans for a study related to the local community and visitor experience at the 3,002-acre Beltzville State Park in Carbon County.

Especially on summer holiday weekends, crowds often exceed the capacity of the park’s parking lots and other facilities.

“With the help of a contractor, DCNR will be talking with different stakeholders who live and work around, and visit the park, about the challenges that the park’s popularity presents, and about whether they have any suggested solutions,” DCNR Director of the Bureau of State Parks John Hallas said.

Ann Toole of Toole Recreation Planning met with state Rep. Doyle Heffley and staff from the office of state Sen. John Yudichak. Toole will be interviewing stakeholders for their perspective on the challenges and solutions.

The information gathered will be used to create a public survey that will be conducted through Penn State.

Starting in mid-summer of this year, Penn State representatives will visit the park to survey visitors in person through Labor Day weekend, and would anticipate returning in 2019 to survey from Memorial Day weekend through mid-summer.

The land at the park is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, and managed for recreation by DCNR.

Attractions at Beltzville State Park include Pohopoco Creek, an excellent trout stream that feeds the 949-acre Beltzville Lake, which is a destination for boaters. Other attractions include the 525-feet sand swimming beach; and picnic areas.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks, visit the DCNR website at www.dcnr.pa.gov.

Comments
A century ago, my Irish-born grandparents were not welcome at certain beaches, parks, and other venues frequented by WASPs. I cannot object to denying these privileges to newcomers. This is a public park.
Yeah, ok, so us residents will stay at home due to the overcrowding, garbage strewn all over the place, and used baby diapers buried in the sand so your "newcomers' can enjoy themselves due to Beltzville being a "public park".
Something needs to be done, because I am sick of looking at the garbage left behind by this element of society who have overtaken our once-pristine lake and who come in droves on a hot summer weekend. The few times I dare go there - my local lake - to swim, I feel as if I were in a foreign land.
The attached picture to this article screams discrimination. Everyone knows the subtext of this article. BLUESKY must speak for the times news since tn allowed the post to remain. Beltzville is a state park and the stakeholders
are every resident in the
commonwealth. Politicians should be very careful attempting to side with anyone who moves against the use of state property by targeted commonwealth residents. This picture strongly suggest the target. Shame TN.
No, not a speaker for anyone. Just making a truthful statement about what's happening at the park.....and the picture is indicative of the problem. Drod, you need to go back to your sanctuary city.
I don't like Bigot, cigarette smoking, beer can sucking, redneck , pickup truck driving losers in the State Parks. The local hillbilly animals don't follow the rules either. Walking around with their fat guts hanging out and their filthy kids running around in their underwear, littering, spitting and using the F word like their getting paid to use it. Don't get me started on their fat cow wives...
You don't have a problem with this? Do YOU?
I didn't think so! Ignorant....
do you live by the lake? have you had to sit in stand still traffic because the road is blocked with grills and garbage? this occurs every year and nothing changes. personally, i don't think it's right to throw diapers and tampons in the lake, but they do it anyway. It's not discrimination, it's about being a decent human being.
And, I'm simply stating that isn't just "city folk", "hispanics" etc who are guilty of being pigs! it's BLUESKY'S good old boys who are just as guilty! Being a slob knows no race, religion or political view point! No I don't live by the lake... but, I live by Pocono Whitewater so I'm no stranger to INCONVENIENCE, garbage, and rudeness.
This is a classic example of how PA Government doesn’t work. This overcrowding and littering problem has been evaluated, studied, and discussed for 15 years. Thoughtful letters to the editors have been written, but now we are back at square one, a misdirection by shifting burden to public again with more surveys (i.e. DCNR buying time and shirking THEIR decision making duties). Then the surveys will be done in a few years and a few more years for a Report, then management will be retired and the process will start over and the problems will be even worse. The simple solution was/is to charge a small amount to enter the park ($5.00/person to help offset the parks expenses and hire additional employees, as the do at some other parks where swimming is allowed). It is so simple, yet fair and reasonable.
Study, study, study, delay, and delay. It is an old yet very effective government trick.
There's an easy fix here....free entry to the beach for carbon county residents, otherwise charge per car (or something to that effect). Other states do similar things at some parks.
If it were a county owned park, that would work, but since it is State owned park, it would not fly. I would charge ALL on weekends only, this is when it needed and locals could stay away then as the are usually compelled to do now anyway. It is so simple. If the diaper buriers have to help pay for clean up, they will probably stay away.
Let it be know from someone who grew up right near the lake, this happens EVERY YEAR. The road is blocked because people from the city double park and have bbqs on the side of the road. They also use the lake as a toilet and it is almost guaranteed that you can find tampons and diapers left over in the water and on the beach. To those of you saying this is racist or politically driven, be quiet, it's been this was for almost 30 years and people from the city come up and abuse the park. Every year the lake is closed for contamination due to the visitors. It's not about discrimination, it's about being a decent human being who doesn't litter or use a park as a dumping ground. If you live near the lake, you know to avoid pohopoco on memorial day and the 4th because it's a hot mess. Start charging people so this kind of nonsense stops.
Yup! I live by the lake. Kinda semi-retired. I'm at the lake all the time. I never go to the beach areas except to check for waterfowl, or get disgusted by the condition of the swimming area parking lots after a busy weekend.

Please understand on the crowded weekends there are dumpsters spaced along the parking lot to the beach area. You can't leave the beach area and not pass withing 50 feet of a dumpster yet there will be trash - and I mean trash like you cannot believe all over the parking lot.

Now drive over to the boat launch. It too is PACKED yet there's no trash or very little. And there's no dumpster there. Why is that?

I don't like the same things DIGGINGOUT@1 mentioned. Something tells me if you could understand Spanish that's a lot of what you'd be hearing (cursing and such) at the lake. However, we are not talking about rednecks, beer bellies, vulgar little kids, or fat cows. That's a discussion for maybe Mauch Chunk Lake, or the Carbon County Fair. We're talking about slobs throwing their trash all over a state park.

It's not illegal to be a fat, stupid, vulgar, bare bellied, beer guzzling redneck unless you add smoking in the wrong place. Then you might be arrested.

It is illegal to litter in a State Park - no matter who you are.

Thanks for being the Voice of Reason. I'm first admit that I can get extreme in my views! But, some people only understand the extreme! I commend your post and the way you presented. :)
That's because we all know the Rednecks have respect for their surroundings and clean up their trash for the next get together for even a better time, caus that's what the good old boys do, clean up after them selves.
Some day all you Carbon County folk will come to terms with the fact that 'others' are not the problem with you being poor, and ill and all of that. PA's state parks are for all. Beltzville is not unique in being overcrowded. How about instead of belly-aching you volunteer to help clean up, direct traffic, educate people?
Can't speak for anyone else, but there's no way I'm picking up that swimming area after a holiday. It's disgusting. You need to see it. What you are suggesting isn't volunteering - it's enabling.

How you going to direct traffic? The park is full and more people what to get in. So they park on Pohopoco Road and walk in like in the picture above. By the way those signs in the picture say NO PARKING.

If you, me, and everyone posting went down the the lake on Thursday and parked on the grass and threw garbage on the ground NEXT TO OUR PARKED CAR the Rangers would be all over us and WE would have a problem. Now if we did that the 1,500 of our friends the PARK would have a problem.

And that's where we're at.
This is not a racial problem. It is a State park but there should be a maximum number of people allowed at the swimming and picnic areas, for safety and health reasons. Handing out day passes that would have to be returned when leaving could keep track of the number of people entering. The swimming area should not be open with out proper staff such as lifeguards cleaning crews and patrolling park rangers who can issue citations for littering and other violations. Volunteers could possibly be used for clean-up and lifeguards. Maybe get older boy scouts and girl scouts involved. Something needs to be done because the days of local residents being able to utilize the swimming and picnic areas of our local state park have ended a long time ago due to the pure filth. There is no enforcement of litter laws to be seen at Beltsville State Park and it is deplorable. Getting more rangers patrolling the beach and picnic areas and handing out plenty of citations with plenty of signs posted that if you are seen littering you will be giving a costly fine would most likely minimize the problem in a very short time as the word spreads. More eyes and more citations would be the best solution.
they could also make the swimming area larger to accommodate more people. Punishment doesn't have to be the only answer. Problem solving works sometimes too. BTW, I'm not debating with you, I'm agreeing and adding ;)
Once again there is an over flow of illegally parked vehicles along the roadway causing a hazard. DCNR is attempting to alleviate the overcrowding of the park, a good start would be to start TOWING EVEVY ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICILE off the roadway. This in it self would stop the major over crowding issue by it self. If the vehicle is parked there, with NO EXCEPTIONS it will be TOWED as it is clearly marked NO PARKING ANY TIME in addition to a citation. The tax payers spend enough money in taxes in school taxes to educate these uneducated, undocumented immigrants, who can't read the signs. And with influx of out of state park visitors polluting the park and causing the trash problem this would solve the problem.
I am so interested in this topic... I live near Beltzville State Park. I have lived close by my entire life and I use the park regularly, a lot of locals do, no matter what they tell you. And this issue does not bother me one bit - except to say it is the state's responsibility to take care of it. It is the state's responsibility to manage the traffic and people on the busy days and to clean up after them. If they can't do it - close it. This is one local who doesn't have a problem with the cars on the street, the grills along the street, the people walking along the road, the traffic, the dirt, the mess, the congestion, any of it. I avoid it on those busy days - the few days of the year we've come to learn it's the busiest, and I don't mind avoiding it. I don't even give it a second thought. If you feel it's impossible to avoid it, reply to my comment and I'll give you directions on how to get around it. There are a lot of ways. Then it can be one less day of your life you're annoyed and frustrated - or maybe not.

I am so happy that our little community has this place to offer to all who want to enjoy. I don't expect someone to drive for two hours to get here, see there is no parking and turn around to go home. People are people - whether they're clean or messy. It would be ideal if throngs of people would leave the place in pristine condition after a holiday weekend, but they don't.

So hey, State of PA, don't take a survey, don't ask stakeholders their opinion, and for heaven's sake, no referendums. Do your job, make the decisions, hire the workers, add a parking lot, and just deal with the problem. To the rest of you. Go! Go there and enjoy it, locals and "outsiders" alike. Go and enjoy it to the fullest, have a great day there!

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