MAKC member George Bange’s second favorite cave—aside from his own, Rupert—is Penn Aqua. Not far from where he lives and about a half hour’s drive from Rupert, this Mifflin County Cave was acquired by MAKC in November of 2021. George, who is the preserve manager, began building the kiosk, well before the artwork was completed. Board member Walt Hamm successfully applied for a $500 grant from Constellation Energy for the kiosk displays. It was spring of 2022 until that grant was approved and received. Once that was done I was able to submit the designed displays for printing. It was a real team effort here as Walt Hamm picked them up from Printscape in Pittsburgh and delivered them to the MAKC Library in Blairsville. A few weeks later I met George and Karen in Huntingdon County for a “half-way in each direction” delivery.
George and Karen then completed the installation. The kiosk includes a sponsorship map of all who donated toward the acquisition. George did some woodworking with a beautiful bat on the other side, which includes the preserve’s address, a map of the cave, a few photos, the preserve rules and some educational information about hypothermia. These photos show the construction and assembly process, from the wood drying outside George and Karen’s house, to George cutting the boards, to the finished pieces. Then there was the assembly, where George had some assistance from Rick Smith, David Wasson, and Thomas Delaney.This project from start to finish shows what the organized caving community can do when individual cavers, grottos and other organizations work together!
Photos by George and Karen Bange.