Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 29
BY RETIRED WCO BILL BOWER
Stitch in Time
Why Pennsylvania needs a conservation museum
N ACQUAINTANCE WHO dabbles
in Game Commission memorabilia
stopped by one day to show me an antique
quilt he'd just purchased.
The quilt did nothing for me - until he
flipped it over and showed me its backing was stitched together with old Game
Commission cloth posters.
These are the signs that were used
when the Game Commission began posting its early refuges. Because they didn't
hold up to the elements, they soon were
retired - maybe even forgotten - and
replaced with metal signs.
I reasoned that quilt was made back in
the Great Depression, likely by a refuge
keeper's wife, who was sewing for her
family with what she had at her disposal.
After the quilt was pieced together with
scraps of clothing and cloth, she might
have asked her husband for some of those
cloth signs in the shed for a quilt backer.
Recognizing the quilt's potential historical value to the Game Commission
- even to Pennsylvania - I made several
attempts to buy it.
But the man had made up his mind to
disassemble the quilt and sell the cloth
posters individually. There was more
money in it for him that way.
I was able to purchase a piece of the
quilt, but to this day, it irks me that the
quilt was taken apart, that its historical
significance was, for lack of a better word,
In an effort to save and preserve
more of Pennsylvania's fish and wildlife
conservation history, the Conservation
Officers of Pennsylvania (COPA) and
conservation-minded individuals have
united to raise money to build a museum
adjacent to the Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area's visitor center.
Located on the Lebanon-Lancaster
county line, Middle Creek annually
attracts tens of thousands of visitors, and
serves as a fitting location for a museum
showcasing Pennsylvania's wildlife
The conservation museum's price tag
is an estimated $150,000.
The building would be a 30- by 40-foot
structure attached to the visitor center by
a short walkway. The architectural plans