Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of
Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests

The Staff and Management of Take Five/Fridays with Pam apologizes for our lack of contact last  week. As I feared, the PPFF office move and attendant carrying of boxes and schlepping of materials left me unable to get my act together enough to craft a message. We trust you were able to muddle through Memorial Day weekend without our guidance!

From all reports in spite of some haphazard weather the parks and forests hosted a lot of happy campers, hikers, fisherfolk, s'more makers, and swimmers over the holiday weekend with much more fun yet to come. Here in Confluence, we met new neighbors, dragged the bikes out of the garage for at least a little riding, and recovered from the aforementioned carrying of boxes and schlepping of materials. Oh, my, was it hard to get going Tuesday morning!

You can't live in this neck of Penn's Woods (or, I guess, really any part of the commonwealth) without paying due to the state flower, the mountain laurel. So this week's masthead does just that, as does the Bureau of Forestry's Forest Fridays May 28 post. 

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of Note

Be sure to mark your calendar for Lappy Hour at Arooga's in downtown Harrisburg for Monday evening, raising money for a dog (and people) friendly water fountain at Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area. Remember you MUST have the Arooga's approved coupon to present to your server (print from link above).

Welcome the new Friends of Michaux State Forest to the fold. The group kicked off last night with the official signing of the paperwork. They have lots of great plans for trails and improvements so keep an eye on the calendar for announcements to come.

And a reminder that the survey of your opinions and preferences on outdoor recreation in support of the next Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is open and awaiting your response.

A few weeks ago a reader asked if I had heard Brood VIII cicadas yet. I hadn't then, and still haven't. I am given to understand that have appeared in Pittsburgh but we haven't seen/heard anything here in Somerset County and it appears from this map that we are not in line for this crop. Looks like we're in Brood X which will emerge in 2021. Too bad. We were hoping they eat ticks.

At Work and Play in the State Parks and Forests

Tomorrow (the first Saturday in June) is National Trails Day and that means a lot of ways to give your favorite trail a little love, especially of the volunteering variety. But using and appreciating these special places is an appropriate celebration as well.

Two great things come together at PARKER DAM STATE PARK tomorrow afternoon - hiking AND the CCC.

A Saturday morning hike at BOYD BIG TREE PRESERVE will give you a glimpse at the area where our dog-friendly fountain will go.


The FRIENDS OF BELTZVILLE STATE PARK invite you to a trail volunteer opportunity.

The FRIENDS OF RIDLEY CREEK offer their regular Saturday work day for your volunteering pleasure.

The trail crews of the Great Southwest will definitely be busy for National Trails Day!

FRIENDS OF OHIOPYLE: Regular Saturday volunteer day

More below!

RIDGE RUNNERS OF THE LHHT: The Ridge Runners will be out for their first work day of the year and I have to miss it. But please don't let that keep you from signing up with this great bunch. Details provided here.

LAUREL MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEERS: Meanwhile in another part of the Forbes, the LMV will be meeting at the Laurel Mountain Warming Hut for their first gathering of the season. Find out more here.


The Friends of Nockamixon are hosting a kids' fishing derby next week. Can you help? Contact Helen Maurella if you can lend a hand or a pole.

(New board members are also being sought.)

These and other fun events and fulfilling volunteer opportunities can be found on the PPFF events calendar and DCNR Calendar of Events. Bookmark them and you'll never miss the boat (or hike or festival).

Picture of the Week

Perhaps not a state park or forest but a wonderful story and photograph nevertheless. Sometimes you just need a little good news.

Take Five for Trivia

A long time ago I asked about a state park that is named for two giants of conservation - that would be Penn-Roosevelt State Park, named for William Penn (who also boasts a namesake state forest) and FDR. I think we sometimes forget that Penn was a "conservationist" but with his instructions to settlers of Penn's Woods to leave one acre of trees for every five they cleared he was ensuring that our oaks and hemlocks, pines and (sigh) chestnuts survived long after he and the original settlers were gone. And FDR gets credit for the CCC who are our heroes always although an argument can be made that the idea was really Gifford Pinchot's in that he already had a similar plan in place here. Penn-Roosevelt-Pinchot State Park is a pretty big mouthful - it's a good thing we already honored GiPi in York County (and the feds took care of him too with a national forest in Washington State).

It's still May, so we can sneak in a last question for the month and it basically has to be on mountain laurel, and its cousin rhododendron. Tell me, please, how in the world do I tell them apart?

Send in your answer and we'll enter your correct response into our monthly prize drawing. All correct answers each week will go into the hat and at the end of the month we'll draw one lucky winner. The more correct answers you submit in a month (up to four or the occasional five depending on the month), the more chances you'll have to win.

In closing

(Kick off your shoes on Saturday for Go Barefoot Day. If trees can do it, you can too!)

Photo by Gillian Tulk-Yartym, Tioga State Forest

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 (PPFF) is a proud member of Earth Share and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar participant.

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