Many people know David Brooks through his work as director of the Potter County Visitors Association, where he is a skilled promoter of the many experiences residents and visitors can have in his part of the PA Wilds, from the Dark Skies at Cherry Springs State Park to the God’s Country Marathon to local festivals and events.
But it is David’s work in tourism asset development that has wowed folks around the region this year. In addition to his work at PCVA, David has helped revitalize a local group, the Austin Dam Memorial Association, and led a unique public-private, local-state partnership to capitalize on the presence of a massive broken concrete dam in the valley just north of the Borough of Austin in Potter County. If you want to know the whole dam story, which dates back to 1911, you’ll have to ask David but safe to say the area has a compelling one – about human resolve and overcoming loss in the face of enormous tragedy – and it is set amid the beautiful backdrop that is God’s Country.
The idea got traction and DCED and DCNR provided financial support to help develop a plan for the area that emphasizes small business development, local history and recreation, and links the Austin Dam Memorial Park with Austin Borough through hiking and biking trails, interpretive historic markers, nature areas, commemorative features and other attractions.
Here, here to David for the many hours he’s put into this project and for taking so much pride in the place he grew up. Thanks to his leadership we are no doubt looking at one of the region’s future Great Places.
David Brooks is one of four individuals recognized for outstanding leadership this year in the 12 1/2 county Pennsylvania Wilds area.