Please join us in welcoming Marisa Sprowles as the new Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) manager for Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA).
In this position, Marisa will oversee park operations and staff. “I’m looking forward to taking a deep dive into the history of the crossing,” Marisa says.
Marisa’s love of the outdoors began in childhood. Her father was a National Park Service ranger and a city and state parks ranger in Ohio. “I spent a lot time in parks as a kid and have a lot of reverence for the flat hat,” she says.
This enthusiasm became the catalyst for her career, but it also continued to permeate her personal life. In 2009, Marisa and her husband and their dachshund hiked 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
Prior to joining DCNR in 2017, Marisa herself held a variety of positions with the National Park Service, including interpretation ranger at Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River. She also worked as an environmental educator at Lacawac Sanctuary in Wayne County.
Most recently, Marisa was the assistant park manager at the Raccoon Creek State Park Complex outside of Pittsburgh.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio University and a master’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Interacting with people has been one of her favorite aspects of her work throughout her various stops. “I think of myself as happy by nature—I smile a lot—and very personable,” Marisa says.
Admittedly, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing will make those qualities less obvious. But Marisa’s confident she’ll find ways to connect with the park’s staff and volunteers and its many visitors.
She should have ample opportunities. Marisa notes that as stay-at-home restrictions lifted throughout the region, Washington Crossing Historic Park quickly became a popular destination for people looking to enjoy the outdoors and maintain a responsible distance from others.
“I want to make sure that continues,” Marisa says. “I also want to do everything within my ability to ensure we’re drawing a diverse population to the park.”