“Our community is our home. If we don’t take care of our home, we can’t expect others to do it for us.”
Those are the words of the late Richard L. (Dick) Snyder, a community benefactor and conservationist. He knew that Pike County residents are blessed to be surrounded by pristine woodlands and waterways, and hoped future generations would benefit from them.
A local attorney, John “Duke” Schneider, is helping to fulfill Snyder’s legacy. He wants students in the Delaware Valley School District to make good use of land Snyder gave to the school district. To make that happen, he has established the Richard L. Snyder Chair of Conservation Studies Fund to create a curriculum at DV schools.
The Delaware Valley School District Superintendent, Dr. John Bell, said a curriculum that will make good use of the land is being developed for students studying environmental science at the high school.
The fund is maintained by the Greater Pike Community Foundation. Duke Schneider was active as a founding member of Greater Pike and currently serves on the board of directors.
“Representing Dick for 30 years, I saw all the good he did for other people and I want to do something in his honor, and do it in a manner that meets the philosophy that Dick had in respect to land use,” Schneider said.
The donated land is river frontage behind Milford Landing and Walmart that could be the basis of programs such as those instituted by Professor John Crow, Ph.D. Crow is familiar with the site, having used it for teaching and research at Rutgers University.
Schneider seeded the fund with a generous donation, and it now totals $50,000, which will allow for a yearly stipend to the school district to help create and maintain the program. He hopes those who remember Dick and those who share his reverence for the land will donate to the fund and help it grow.
“The program should focus on conservation studies and land use,” said Schneider. “It is essential that land be used in an environmentally sound way, much like the philosophy of sustainable use espoused by Gifford Pinchot,” the first head of the United States Forest Service, and the 28th governor of Pennsylvania, whose family home, Grey Towers in Milford, is now a national historic site.
“Richard took great pride in the fact that Milford is known as the birthplace of the Conservation Movement in America,” Schneider said. “He chose to be an example to all of what we can do to promote proper land use to benefit the general public.”
To make an online donation to The Richard L. Snyder Chair of Conservation Studies Fund, visit greaterpike.org/our-funds (scroll down to the fund name and click on the link). You can also mail a check made payable to Greater Pike Community Foundation with “Conservation Chair Fund” in the memo portion. Mail to: Greater Pike Community Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Milford, PA 18337.