Our mission: To inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.

Greetings to one and all from rainy Wakulla County, Florida. The good news is that the house Bill and I rent each year withstood the effects of October's Hurricane Michael, even if the beach at the end of the road is in pretty sad shape now. Our trip south was uneventful; thanks to taking a one-day delay in leaving we missed Winter Storm Diego as it tore across the country from west to east. We have never seen so much snow in North Carolina!

But today is the winter solstice and the days will begin to gradually become longer. A friend commented that she was pretty sure she couldn't live near the Arctic Circle with those winter short days and I would tend to agree. When I was younger it didn't seem to matter as much (in fact, my family was in Alaska for a year and a half back in the 70s and the trade-off of long summer days seemed to make it worthwhile). 

But speaking of snow, the masthead photograph from Linda Stager was submitted to our photo contest last year but as she won a prize in the "Built Environment" category it was removed from the contest (no one can win more than once). Quite a stunner. Keep an eye on the website in the next few weeks as we announce the 2019 contest - we have new categories and (we hope) a new method to our madness!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


Lost in the shuffle of our southern migration was acknowledgement here of the annual Nature of Nolde art contest at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center as presented by the Center, the Friends of Nolde Forest, and ArtPlus, a nonprofit artists' cooperative in West Reading.

ArtPlus director Russ Slocum writes, "The contest has proven to be a win for all involved. It provides an opportunity for Berks County students to artistically express their appreciation for outdoor spaces and have their artwork showcased in a professionally staged exhibit. It enables teachers to meet an array of Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities. It aligns with Nolde Forest’s goal to connect visitors to natural resources, as well as Art Plus Gallery’s mission as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to promote art appreciation and participation throughout Berks County in general, and among K-12 students in particular."

Pictured here is Grade 5/6 winner Ella Reidinger's "Nature's Path Through Nolde," a marker and colored pencil drawing of the Center's wildlife. (Photo by Blair Seitz.) See more photos at the ArtPlus Gallery website.

The mountain bike trails at Nockamixon State Park are now closed for the season. Please respect this closure - the Friends of Nockamixon and other volunteer groups work very hard to maintain a sustainable mountain biking system at the park. Save your enthusiastic tires and feet until dry weather returns. Thank you!

Efforts to raise the money needed for an accessible dock at Little Buffalo and snag the entirety of the $10,000 challenge grant from a local foundation are still ongoing. We really want to grab the whole $10,000 pot! Click to donate or, if you know a potential additional sponsor along the lines of a local social or service organization, please pass this along! There's a link right on our home page that tells the whole story. (http://bit.ly/LittleBuffDock)

At work and play in the parks and forests


As you might expect, the calendar is pretty quiet through the end of the year. HOWEVER, this is the weekend to visit Little Buffalo State Park and enjoy the Christmas Trail on Saturday and Sunday evenings;  the annual Christmas Day re-enactment of Washington Crossing the Delaware takes place again this year; and New Year's Day offers a full slate of First Day Hikes (31 at last count). I think I have all the links consolidated on our calendar.

No matter what region of the commonwealth you want to visit, our website Events and the DCNR Calendar of Events are great sources for things to see and do. Bookmark them!

Picture of the week


This is only one of the beautiful shots taken by Rich Reed at M.K. Goddard State Park. Click to see the rest of the pictures in his One More Eagle (Facebook) album.

Take five for trivia


We climbed to the top for our last question in appreciation of International Mountain Day and the elevation that allows us to tell the difference between Pennsylvania and Kansas. Mountains known to be favorites of our trivia players? Chestnut Ridge, the always romantically named Endless Mountains, Blue Mountain, Conewago Mountain, South Mountain, Kittatinny Ridge, and Bear Pond Mountains (which I have to admit was a new one for me).

Let's put our tricorner hats on and consider that crossing of the Delaware. When they launch their replica boats on Christmas Day, where are the re-enactors heading?

All correct answers each week go into the hiking boot for a random drawing at the end of the month for something from the PPFF Prize Closet - be it a bandana, a book, or some other special goodie. Send your answer to my email address and we'll take it from there. One entry per person per week!

In closing

Our holiday wishes to you! (Hmmm. Seems we've seen that photo before!)

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization - contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of PPFF may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling, toll-free within Pennsylvania, to 800.732.0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar Participant.

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