A change in management at Frances Slocum State Park at the end of May probably went unnoticed by active runners, bikers, swimmers and hikers during peak summer months.
Kevin Koflanovich replaced former park Manager Brian Taylor on May 27 when Taylor moved to Promised Land State Park in Greentown.
The move to the Kingston Twp. park made sense for Koflanovich, a park manager with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, since it would bring him closer to home. Koflanovich grew up in Chase, Jackson Twp.
Previously, Koflanovich managed Lackawanna State Park for four years, Beltzville State Park for 2½ years and worked at Delaware Canal State Park as an assistant manager for two years.
Koflanovich’s move happened so quietly that even Kingston Twp. police Chief Michael Moravec, who works closely with the park rangers, didn’t realize there was a new manager.
“Our guys go out there quite frequently,” Moravec said. “And the door swings both ways too.”
Moravec said the rangers and his officers work together on a lot of issues and the rangers help them out when needed outside of the park grounds.
“It’s absolutely an important relationship with the park,” Moravec said.
Koflanovich is in charge of general oversight of the park, which includes rangers, other staff and the budget.
He said the busy summer months have prevented him from meeting local law enforcement.
“I haven’t had an opportunity yet to meet the police chief, but I intend to,” Koflanovich said. “Summer is the busiest season.”
Kingston Twp. Manager Kathleen Sebastian said the community benefits greatly from the park — in activities and programs at the park, and through the business it brings to the township.
“It’s a wonderful resource for canoeing, swimming, hiking,” Sebastian said. “(The park) is very valuable to us.”
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Press Secretary Terry Brady said it’s not uncommon for park managers to change parks, especially when managers can move closer to home.
“Often people like to get close to their hometown,” Brady said, adding that managers will try to challenge themselves over the course of their career. “Young men and women constantly try to take more challenging positions. The larger the park acreage and the higher the visitation, the more challenges there are.”
Frances Slocum has 13 miles of trails covering 1,035 acres, according to the website. There’s a pool, a lake where visitors can fish or rent boats, and trails for running, biking and hiking.
Koflanovich, who remembers his parents bringing both he and his sister to the park as children and later coming as a young adult, is excited to develop park programs for the surrounding community.
“I’m sure there will be some unique challenges as I’m here over the years,” Koflanovich said. “Every park is different, with unique characteristics. This is a great park and a beautiful area, I’m looking forward to working here.”