Grey Towers at 50
MILFORD — Free music, free Open House, lectures, guest speakers, food and family fun are planned for Sept. 19 to 22, as the U.S .Forest Service commemorates the 50-year anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s dedication of the ancestral home of agency founder, Gifford Pinchot, at Grey Towers National Historic Site, in Milford.
Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, one of the guest speakers at the Sept. 21 re-dedication program, will highlight the work of the Forest Service, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and other partners since that momentous Kennedy dedication 50 years ago.
On Sept. 24, 1963, Kennedy launched a national conservation tour at Grey Towers when he dedicated the founding of the Pinchot Institute and opened the doors of Grey Towers to the public.
“I look forward to welcoming everyone to the commemoration of the gift of Grey Towers to the American public and celebrating the conservation legacy of Gifford Pinchot,” said Grey Towers Director Allison Stewart. “Grey Towers is such a special place in America’s history.”
The community is invited to share in the celebration throughout the weekend. Highlights of the commemoration include:
A presentation by author and historian Char Miller whose new book, “Seeking the Greatest Good,” explores the conservation legacy of Gifford Pinchot. (Sept. 19)
A re-dedication of the Pinchot Institute at Grey Towers, including music, guest speakers and posting of the colors by USDA Forest Service Honor Guard. (Sept. 21)
A Family Fun Day, including free Open House of the Grey Towers mansion, music, and a puppet/magic show for children. Picnics on the grounds are encouraged; the Milford Rotary will be providing refreshments for a nominal fee. (Sept. 22)
Pinchot’s thinking on the subject of conservation has not only survived, but is the foundation from which most conservation thinking derives today. This commemoration is not only about the past and the present, but also the future of one of the world’s most important subjects: conservation of the Earth's natural resources.
One of the founders of the concept of conservation and the first American forester, Gifford Pinchot was appointed the first Chief of the Forest Service by President Theodore Roosevelt. Pinchot and his family endowed the Yale School of Forestry and served as Governor of Pennsylvania for two terms.
Pinchot, a clearheaded visionary, understood the challenges of how to protect the natural resources of the country, while using those natural resources for the benefit of all people. Today, the agency he helped founded continues to practice his philosophy, “The greatest good, for the greatest number in the long run” when facing conflict over use of the resource.
Today, the Forest Service manages Grey Towers as a public conservation education and leadership center as well as a museum providing mansion and garden tours. The agency works with numerous partners to provide programs that carry forward the Pinchot legacy.
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