The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) held a dedication ceremony in late June to officially open its new 24-acre natural area, called the Dr. Colson E. Blakeslee Memorial Recreation Area. This area located in Medix Run in Elk County was named in honor and memory of the local doctor and emeritus WPC board member. Blakeslee, fondly known as “Doc,” was a tireless advocate for conservation efforts in Elk and nearby counties, including the Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek restoration. He strongly believed increasing public access to this remediated creek was important for local residents and visitors. After the dedication ceremony,
Blakeslee was a strong advocate for conservation efforts throughout Northwestern
Pennsylvania and WPC board member from 1979 until his death in 2011. He was
also a founder of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a board member of the
Allegheny Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a staunch supporter of the Bennett Branch
Watershed Association. He was a beloved physician from Dubois, Pa., who connected physical
health with the wellbeing of the environment. His hard work to connect the public to nature
and advocate for cleaner waterways and restoration efforts are now a reality, and a beautiful
legacy to our community. The new recreation area has parking for up to seven vehicles. A
memorial plaque and visitor signage are mounted at the trailhead to provide more information
on Blakeslee, as well as uses for the area available to the public including fishing, hiking,
hunting, and wildlife viewing.
Find more public recreations areas online at VisitPAGO.com or call the PA Great Outdoors
Visitors Bureau at (814) 849-5197.