Marion E. Brooks1912 - 1973
Marion E. Brooks, born in Allegheny County, devoted her life to the conservation of natural wonders. In 1945, she bought property below Haystack Mountain near Medix Run in Elk County. Concern for hunter safety around her new home inspired her to form the Bennetts Valley Ambulance Association and serve as a Civil Defense Policewoman.
Marion’s environmental interests gave her visibility within the community. She was a fixer and a joiner. Her concerns about preventing water pollution from strip mine drainage facilitated formation of the Weedville Water Company and the Toby Alley Watershed Association. She was a member of the Elk County Soil and Water Conservation District and director of the north Central PA Economic Development District, later joining the PA Environmental Council (PEC).
Ahead of her time as the rare woman among professional conservationists, Marion proved her mettle over and over again. Marion was the first woman member of the PA Federation Sportsmen’s Club and the Allegheny chapter of Trout Unlimited. Marion’s accomplishments were recognized through a number of awards and honors. In 1972, she received the Conservationist Award from PA Forestry Council and the PA Fish Commission’s White Hat award, honoring the individual making a significant contribution to purifying and cleaning area waters. Honoring her legacy, in 1975 the Department of Environmental Resources set aside almost 1000 acres near Quehanna, naming it: The Marion Brooks Natural Area, “as a reminder of her concern and for her determination to improving quality of life.”