Maurice “Doc” Goddard

September 13, 1912 - September 14, 1995

Considered to be the ‘Patriarch of Pennsylvania State Parks’, Goddard was known for his blunt, no-nonsense style and served under five Pennsylvania governors as Secretary of Forests and Waters and as the founding Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources (1955-1979). He spent an unprecedented 24 years as a cabinet officer, realizing his vision of a park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian. Only six of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are without a state park. During his tenure, Goddard added 45 parks and 130,000 acres of park land, gaining national recognition for Pennsylvania’s state park system.

For more information about Doc Goddard and his impact on the Pennsylvania state park system, visit the website for WITF-TV and view the video documentary, The Life of Maurice Goddard, read a fact sheet about him and the Goddard Legacy Project (coming soon)), view the Bureau of Forestry video vignette or check out the Spring 2010 issue of Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation’s newsletter, Penn’s Stewards. Educators and session leaders – a series of discussion questions to use in cooperation with a screening of the documentary can be found here.