Grand Canyon & Grey Towers: The Greatest Good (photojournalism)


Posted on July 19, 2009 by Blake Leath

In the past couple weeks, having sprinted from working with groups in the Department of Interior to the Department of Agriculture, I can't help but be awestruck by the tirelessness and commitment with which their employees and leaders serve.  They are literally 'on the ground' each and every day, year after year, decade after decade -- preserving America's greatest natural resources and interacting with and educating the public.  

Grand Canyon, of course, makes nearly any short list of "world's greatest natural wonders," but I have absolutely got to share how phenomenal and breathtaking the less-well-known Grey Towers is.  A 'summer cottage' for Gifford Pinchot, the Pinchot Institute at Grey Towers (the residence itself) covers a sprawling 105 acres and rambles pastorally across gorgeous hills in Milford, PA at the juncture of New York and New Jersey.   

It would require pages and pages and more energy than I possess to describe the experience of spending five days at Grey Towers working with some of the greatest thinkers and doers in the natural resources arena, so I'll suggest instead that you research Gifford Pinchot himself, his amazing wife Cornelia, read about the infamous Fingerbowl and, most importantly, if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, take the tour of the estate with your family.  The Grey Towers website has videos and podcasts about the Pinchot family legacy, and one cannot immerse him or herself in it without coming out the other side feeling... humbled and motivated.   

There is much great work to be done in the world, and it's individuals like the Pinchots and the often anonymous federal employees who extend their work and add anew who inspire us all.  

Research-on and, for the interested, 21 photos with brief captions.  Be patient while it loads, the file is relatively large: GrandCanyon&GreyTowers_photos_July2009.pdf (5.50 mb)