HOLLIDAYSBURG - Canoe Creek State Park has a new manager.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources appointed Andrew St. John to the post after former manager, Steven Volgstadt, retired.
St. John, a Hollidaysburg native who has moved into his family's homestead, thinks he is "joining a team" that has kept the park "looking sharp" and "running smoothly," he said.
Andrew St. John was hired at Canoe Creek State Park.
St. John previously headed Susquehannock State Park in Lancaster County since 2010; he started with the Bureau of State Parks in 2005.
He will oversee the Canoe Creek State Park complex, which also includes Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County and Warriors Path State Park in Bedford County.
"Andy brings to the Canoe Creek complex a solid list of managerial credentials that includes environmental instruction and planning, resource management and the hands-on operation of a park," said DCNR Secretary Richard Allan. "A native of Blair County, he is well acquainted with his newest assignment and all its unique resources."
St. John said he is most excited to increase the awareness of the park. He said he would like to strike up a partnership with local nonprofits and the community to bring in activities and festivals to the 155-acre lake that is popular with anglers and boaters.
He wants to strike a balance between raising the park's profile and keeping it the peaceful park locals appreciate, he said.
Some improvements at the park have moved their way up the to-do list. Work will be done to make the beach more accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and workers will upgrade the bathhouses and concession stands, St. John said. Some of the work will require the park to take down the lake 5 feet, he said. Doing so should take place in the fall.
"I'm thrilled to be at Canoe Creek - a little because I am a native of nearby Hollidaysburg, and a lot because I think it is one of the finest, most overlooked parks in our state park system," St. John said. "It is a perfect combination of superb natural, historical and recreational resources all in one place. Truly something for just about everyone."