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Frog Hollow Dedicated as the Next Schuylkill County Park

Nearly 100 attend dedication ceremony on Saturday

Frog Hollow Nature Area is officially dedicated as the second Schuylkill County park on April 20, 2024.

About 100 people turned out on Saturday morning to Frog Hollow Nature Area in Wayne Twp. to dedicate it as Schuylkill County’s second park.

Frog Hollow is a 27-acre plot of wetlands along Stone Mountain Rd. in Friedensburg. It consists mostly of walking trails and a small stream and is home to myriad native plants, trees, and wildlife.

Scout troops have used it as a campground.

And now as Schuylkill County’s second official park, those in charge of it plan on keeping it that way.

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“There may be less invasives, or maybe more natural plants,” Julia Sophy, President of Schuylkill County Conservancy, says.

In that way, it’ll be different from the County’s first park, Sweet Arrow Lake County Park, which involved much more extensive work to make it what it is today.

Frog Hollow will be a passive recreation area, by definition, meaning it’ll be used for small programs and nature walks and events like that.

Even though they are different types of parks in that way, Frog Hollow and Sweet Arrow Lake County Park do share a connection. The stream running through Frog Hollow is the headwaters of the Little Swatara Creek, which empties into Sweet Arrow Lake.

During Saturday’s dedication ceremony, many people who’ve got a history at Frog Hollow shared their experiences there and the excitement they have now that it’s Schuylkill County’s second park.

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Jason Wood, Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 651, who served as emcee for the dedication event, said, “This has been a long-awaited day that has involved many, many volunteers and a lot of work from many other interested parties.

Jason Wood, Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 651, stands at a podium that was built at Frog Hollow as an Eagle Scout project. (Coal Region Canary photos)

“We’re very grateful this day has finally come,” Wood said. “We didn’t want to see this place sold. It’s great to see this will be protected as a County park.”

Wood noted the numerous contributions Scouts have put into Frog Hollow dating back more than 30 years, everything from forming a trail to building a podium and amphitheater-style benches where Saturday’s event was focused.

Drew Kline, Schuylkill County Parks & Recreation Superintendent, thanked the state’s Dept. of Conservation of Natural Resources for the grant money that allowed the County to obtain the deed to Frog Hollow and preserve it for public use.

Schuylkill County Commissioner Gary Hess (left), discusses the numerous entities that came together so the County could purchase Frog Hollow and make it its second park. He’s joined by Brad Ellison (center), of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Friedensburg, and Drew Kline (right), of Schuylkill County Parks & Recreation.

“We’re very glad that we can extend our park system,” Schuylkill County Commissioner Gary Hess said. “This is a great private-public partnership. Many organizations were talked about here. A lot of groups have been meeting to make sure this park lives forever. We want to appreciate everyone’s involvement because that’s what it takes. Thank you for all your help in making sure this park lives and thrives forever and ever.

Stanley Fidler, Wayne Township supervisor, said, “It’s a great thing for Wayne Township and I want to welcome everybody here.”

Stanley Fidler, Wayne Township supervisor
Stanley Fidler, Wayne Twp. supervisor, cracks up the crowd telling the story of how the home that used to be located on Frog Hollow grounds used to host the 50-50 drawings for the early days of the Friedensburg Fire Co.

Fidler also told an hilarious story about the home that used to be located on Frog Hollow’s grounds.

It’s since been torn down and only a chimney remains today but Fidler said that home used to be frequented by early members of Friedensburg Fire Co.

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He said the fire company would use it to conduct its financially significant 50-50 drawings there because it was pretty well hidden and doing drawings like that wouldn’t have been looked upon too kindly by state officials then.

How did the County acquire Frog Hollow?

State Sen. Dave Argall (center) presents a citation on behalf of the Commonwealth’s General Assembly, to various local officials.

Frog Hollow was originally owned by Elise Krammes. 

At some time in the 1980s, Krammes gave it in trust to South Schuylkill Garden Club, in memory of her grandfather, Samuel Ryland, who died in the Civil War.

Krammes said when giving the land to the club that it always be used as a public garden. 

The Garden Club eventually gave the land over to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, which sold the property to the County that had been awarded a Dept. of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR) grant to buy it.

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Schuylkill County Conservancy will organize any work at Frog Hollow in the future. Sophy said the Conservancy will continue to seek grants to fund projects at the park. 

The Conservancy will also enlist the help of local Boy and Girl Scount troops on smaller projects. 

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