Pennsylvania-based Military Service Members and Veterans Build Camaraderie and Resilience While Fly Fishing the Upper Delaware Scenic River

April 30, 2024

Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2024)/OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Earlier this month, National Park Trust, in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS) and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, orchestrated a transformative experience for veterans. Nestled along the banks of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River in Pennsylvania, this event was a harmonious blend of fly fishing and immersing oneself in the rejuvenating embrace of nature and the great outdoors.

The NPS awarded the National Park Trust funds and is partnering with Project Healing Waters to provide active-duty military service personnel and Veterans access to fly fishing opportunities in national park sites nationwide. At Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, the day started with NPS rangers introducing the park and learning about its cultural and natural significance. After a leisurely lunch on the river bank, participants spent the afternoon working on their casting techniques, landing fish, and recounting the number of bites they had felt throughout the day.

As part of this event, participating service members were presented with an Interagency Military Annual Pass, which provides entrance or access for one year to more than 2,000 federal recreational sites, including all National Park Service sites, for current military members and their dependents.

“We are thrilled to be working with the National Park Trust and Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River,” said LtCol John “Saint” Langford, USMC (Ret.), Project Healing Waters CEO. “One of the critical elements of our Participants’ healing journeys is the restorative power of the outdoors, which the NPT team absolutely understands. Military service personnel and Veterans have served and sacrificed, and this outing was an opportunity for multiple Project Healings Waters community members to bond while fishing at an amazing national park site. The generous gift of the Interagency Military Annual Pass is something I know our Participants will utilize to keep them moving and healing in the outdoors.”

“We are excited about this opportunity to engage with our local military and veteran community,” said Lindsey Kurnath, Superintendent at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. “Recreating in the park provides opportunities for the participants to create memorable experiences while connecting to nature in meaningful ways.”

“National Park Trust is honored to work with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing to provide experiences where the transformative power of fly fishing within our national parks serves as a conduit for resilience and healing within the disabled military community,” said Grace Lee, National Park Trust executive director. “Engaging with nature in these majestic settings not only fosters a deep connection with our natural world but also cultivates inner strength and fortitude in the face of adversity.”

This event at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River is the first of four outdoor recreation events in 2024 at national park sites nationwide. Other event locations include Olympic National Park (WA), Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (WY), Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL), and Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN).


National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired many of the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 53 national park sites. Our national youth education and family initiatives, including our Buddy Bison Programs and National Kids to Parks Day, serve hundreds of Title I schools annually and cultivate future park stewards. We believe that our public parks, lands, and waters should be cared for, enjoyed, and preserved by all for current and future generations. Find out more at parktrust.org.

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or ivan@parktrust.org.


Project Healing Waters is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering therapeutic outdoor recreation through the sport of fly fishing for active military personnel and veterans in need through a dedicated, developed curriculum of fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying, and fly rod building. In 2023 alone, Project Healing Waters helped 6,056 participants comprised of all service eras through the generous work of 6,458 active volunteers.

Media Contact: A.J. Gottschalk, aj.gottschalk@projecthealingwaters.org


More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 429 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.