Bob Stoudt to Receive Pursel Award

Bob Stoudt will be honored as the 2024 recipient of the Robert N. Pursel Award for "Neighbor of the Year", to be presented on Saturday, April 20, 2024 as part of the annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors Event.

Robert (Bob) Stoudt grew up near Turbotville, graduating from Warrior Run High School in 1991. He attended Bloomsburg University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Geography/Environmental Planning, and later a master’s degree in Geography from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN.

After living in the state of Indiana for several years while attending graduate school, Bob moved to Pittsburgh to work for Navigation Technologies, later Navteq, a digital mapping company. Bob and his wife, Becky, moved back to Watsontown in 2002, where he continued to work part-time until the births of their three kids. While being a stay-at-home-dad, Bob volunteered with the Warrior Run Pathways Committee and other local organizations, eventually becoming part-time Deputy Director of the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) in 2010. Bob assumed the role of Director later that year, a role he continues to hold today.

During Bob’s time with MARC, the organization has grown to manage multiple park and trail properties in Montour and Columbia Counties, including the Hess Recreation Area, the North Branch Canal Trail, the North Branch Canal Trail Parking Area and River Access, the Hopewell Park / Danville Borough Farm Trail System, and the Montour Preserve. Stoudt and MARC’s team have worked to significantly expand Montour County’s outdoor recreation opportunities, including: operating the Montour Preserve since 2015 (in partnership with Talen Energy); construction of the concrete skatepark at the Hess Recreation Area; construction of more than eleven miles of mountain biking trails at the Hopewell Park / Danville Borough Farm Trail System (in partnership with the Central Susquehanna Hammers Interscholastic Mountain Biking Team and other partners); development of the Danville Riverfront and Open Space Master Plan (in partnership with the Danville Business Alliance); construction of the six mile-long North Branch Canal Trail; organizing and directing numerous races and special events; and many other projects.

Bob and MARC’s staff are currently working on several major projects, including the reconstruction of the Hess Recreation Area’s access road, reconstruction of portions of the Hess Recreation Area’s Hess Loop Trail (J. Manley Robbins Trail), infrastructure improvements at the Montour Preserve, park improvements in Washingtonville, and the construction of an asphalt-paved pump track and related developments at Hopewell Park.

Bob’s volunteer service has included: Montour County Emergency Management Agency; Central Pennsylvania Drone Response Team; Community Giving Foundation: Danville; Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce; SEDA-COG Metropolitan Planning Organization; SEDA-COG Middle Susquehanna Active Transportation Committee; Danville Heritage Festival Committee; Going Gold Committee; Montour County Recreation Authority; Columbia Montour Partnership for Community Development; Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau; Warrior Run Community Corporations Pathways Committee; Friends of Allegheny Wilderness; Friends of Milton State Park; SEDA-Foundation; Watsontown Borough Parks Renovation Committee; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; and the Boy Scouts of America.

Additionally, through Bob’s roles with the Warrior Run Community Corporation and MARC, he has worked with thirty-six Eagle Scout candidates (including sons Ben (2020) and Brian (2023)), and three Girl Scout Gold Award candidate on projects in Montour, Columbia, and Northumberland Counties, with an additional four projects now underway (including daughter Lauren).

Bob’s wife, Becky, is a CRNA and Geisinger’s Associate Dean of Nursing Student Education. His son, Ben, is a junior at Penn State University, majoring in Security and Risk Analysis. His son, Brian, is a senior at Danville Area High School, preparing to attend Penn State University this fall. His daughter, Lauren, is a junior at Danville Area High School, preparing for a co-op experience with Geisinger Pediatrics this fall. Bob’s family lives in Liberty Township, Montour County.

The community has continued to benefit from Bob's leadership, dedication and hard work, and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Event Committee is pleased to honor him with the Pursel Award this year.