Ed Cramer – Building a Legacy of Natural Places and Open Spaces in Monroe County

Ed Cramer – Building a Legacy of Natural Places and Open Spaces in Monroe County
PHLT “This Land Is Your Land” Recognition Award – May 2018
In the mid-90’s while part of the Board of Directors of the Brodhead Watershed Association, I had the honor of participating in a BWA award recognition program honoring Ed Cramer for his dedication to and support of water quality protection on the Brodhead Creek.  This award was presented to Ed at a Summer Picnic gathering on the banks of the Brodhead at the Moose Lodge Pavilion in Stroud Township.  We were there that day early in an environmental awakening of efforts to advance both protection of land and water resources and to dream of possibilities for creating more public access “natural places and open spaces” in Monroe County – and Ed Cramer was and over two decades later STILL IS at the forefront of this effort.

Fast forward to 2018 and Ed’s accomplishments are scattered widely across not only his home waters of the Brodhead and Stroud Township, but Monroe County.  Like emerald gems strung on ribbons of blue, a map of the Brodhead, McMichael and Cherry Creeks reveals the labors of both his land protection work and his desire to provide public recreational access to the beautiful landscapes of our stream valleys and ridgeline landscapes.
With the support of municipal taxpayers and residents, under Ed’s guidance Stroud Township was one of the first to adopt a municipal open space bond program which annually generated local funds dedicated specifically to open space land acquisitions.  This together with the Monroe County Open Space Bond Fund Program started in 2000 provided essential matching monies for the PA State’s Growing Greener Program to drive important land protection efforts.  Today thousands of both County residents and Pocono visitors alike can be found on properties dotted across Stroud Township and concentrated along the Brodhead Creek enjoying the “green spaces’” of his efforts.
We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Ed for his decades of Municipal service, his vision for a County supported and protected natural resource based economy and his tireless efforts to make Stroud Township and Monroe County a leader in resource protection and municipal recreation opportunities.
Much has happened to change the conservation landscape of Monroe County in the quarter century from that day of honors and celebration on the Brodhead Creek to today and Ed has had a hand directly or behind the scenes in much of this work.  A few quick highlights include: the Stroud Twp. OS Bond annual Open Space Funding Program; a $25 million County Open Space Bond Program;  the Stroud Greenway consisting of many public access parks and preserves along the Brodhead and McMichael Creeks; the Levee Loop and Stroud Greenway Lower Brodhead Trail System; the rise of environmental awareness and support of BWA and PHLT and the Monroe County Environmental Education Center at Kettle Creek; support of a Community Supported Agriculture Program at the Josie Porter Farm, a property owned by Stroud Twp.; establishment of the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge; the recent Cherry Creek Golf Course acquisition, helped form the Friends of Cherry Valley; the Glenbrook Golf Course acquisition and McMichael Creek greenway protection; the PHLT Glen Run Nature Preserve acquisition and of course the ForEvergreen Nature Preserve acquisition and the soon to be new home of PHLT and BWA in the beautiful new Brodhead Creek Heritage Center on the historic Brodhead Creek where “fly fishing began in America”.  Ed has been very busy. 
We honor Ed this May evening in Cherry Valley a landscape near and dear to his heart.  We honor him for his dedication and persistence in both preserving and making accessible significant pieces of Pocono paradise in the landscape we love, both his years of service on the Board and continuing support of Pocono Heritage Land Trust and for his Herculean effort at “natural places and open spaces” protection.  THANK YOU, ED.
                                                                                                Don Miller, May 2018

On Friday, May 4, 2018 at our PHLT Annual Dinner Meeting, Representative Rep. Maureen Madden honored Ed Cramer with the PHLT award: 
“This Land Is Your Land” Recognition Award – May 2018
Don Baylor presented Ed Cramer with his beautiful artwork...
A natural pool on the Brodhead will be named after Ed Cramer for all his herculean efforts at “natural places and open spaces” protection in Monroe County. Thank you, Ed!!!