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

What a week. Bill's gone down with the flu and strep throat. The pharmacist said they'd gone through 600 doses of Tamiflu in the last week! Now you know when something like this happens, the best thing the well family members can do is stay away from the sick family members and hope for the best. The cat and I are quarantined.

So drink plenty of fluids and rest. All while gazing blissfully at the beauty outside. Laurel Hill Michelle said yesterday morning that the forests were sparkling like diamonds. Or maybe like the bluebird of happiness in our masthead photographed at Pymatuning on New Year's Day. (Or is that a chickadee that's gone blue from the cold?)

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

All the winners have now been notified and we are excited as can be to celebrate the contributions of these dedicated men and women at our May 9th annual awards banquet:

  • Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award: DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn. When Governor Tom Wolf appointed Cindy Adams Dunn to be the sixth secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), she  was returning to the agency where she worked under three governors in multiple positions over the last two decades. Under her leadership, DCNR focuses on six strategic initiatives -- youth, recreation, forest conservation, climate, water, and sustainability. Since 2016, these initiatives have made great strides as they grow from, and build on, the core work DCNR staff performs with pride every day.

  • Joseph Ibberson Government Award: Representative Kate Harper. As State Representative of the 61st Legislative District, Kate M. Harper is focused on preserving the environment, improving transportation infrastructure, and protecting public safety. She has been a vocal proponent of preserving and enhancing the state’s Growing Greener program and has been a vocal defender and protector of the Keystone Recreation, Parks and Conservation Fund, which supports open space, historic preservation, and improvements to state parks and forests.

  • President’s Award: Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Landscape Program and the PA Wilds Center. While the Wilds work is still young for a large landscape-level effort, it is already bearing fruit. Between 2009 and 2014, the latest data available, visitor spending in the region grew an average of 33.7 percent; tourism employment grew 13.4 percent; and labor income from tourism jobs grew 26 percent. State and local taxes collected from tourism categories during this time grew 22.7 percent; federal taxes collected, 22.4 percent.

  • Forest of the Year: Rothrock State Forest. As namesake for the father of Pennsylvania’s forestry system, Rothrock staff manages diverse recreational user groups and a thriving forest system.

  • Park of the Year—Cook Forest State Park. Fighting for the survival and protection of Pennsylvania’s old growth hemlocks.
  • Volunteer Award: Improvement—Boulder Woods Country Club. For the creation and stewardship of two disc golf courses at Gifford Pinchot State Park, bringing the park to the forefront of disc golf destinations including as host of a world tournament at the park in 2019.

  • Volunteer Award: Education—Marilyn and Tom Fye, Parker Dam and Clear Creek State Parks. For decades of education programming, camp ground hosting, volunteerism, and commitment to the parks and their visitors.

  • Volunteer Award: Volunteerism—The Over-the Hill Gang at Oil Creek State Park. For their decades of dedication to the maintenance and care of the 40 miles of trails in Oil Creek State Park.

  • Young Volunteer Award: Sarah Reeping, Laurel Hill State Park Complex. For her willingness and selflessness in providing countless hours of her time to support special events and foster positive relationships with children and, especially, provide memorable experiences for them through art and play at the annual Laurel Hill Bluegrass Festival.

It's going to be a fun night! Award sponsorships are available (contact Marci) as are details (and registration is now open) at http://bit.ly/ppff2018banquetinfo

Have you ever seen the 1% for the Planet logo on a product or at a business? PPFF is proud and happy to have become one of the nonprofit partners of this 16-year old nonprofit that partners business, individuals, and nonprofits to raise money for environmental causes. Business owners commit to donating 1% of annual sales to nonprofit partners in line with their own priorities. If you are a 1% business partner who enjoys Pennsylvania's state parks and forests, consider committing some of your funds to PPFF please!

At work and play in the parks and forests


It is most assuredly a festival weekend out there!


Fun in the Snow at Black Mo is sure to be plenty of fun this year! Sharing the day every year with Fun in the Snow is the Hills Creek Winterfest. This year is no different.


The 5th annual SnowFest and Polar Plunge at Greenwood Furnace warms up your Saturday - with the SnowFest 5-Miler sponsored by the Friends of Greenwood Furnace.


Registration is required but Sunday affords a great opportunity to view the Raptors of Winter on Sunday at the Nockamixon Cliffs Section of Delaware Canal State Park. 


Also big on the calendar each year is the Jennings Environmental Education Center's Prairie Improvement Day. Participation is always high for this one and pre-registration is required. It's worth a call, however, in the event weather concerns might keep a few of the Usual Suspects at home and indoors!

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


The Friends of Keystone's Mike Lipay shared a couple of shots of Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park - and this one near Jonathan Run at Ohiopyle. Sparkling like diamonds!

Take five for trivia


Obviously you aren't going fishing on skating on icycles like the ones Mike shot at Ohiopyle. Because they aren't at least four inches thick - and you're not completely bananas. Unlike our dear friend Phyllis and her Rick. She said she didn't think they'd find any good ice this year, what with the warm December. But the lake at Yellow Creek State Park is ice-fishing-appropriate. (Wait. Shouldn't we be wearing that coat?)

While it may be premature to consider signs of spring, perhaps just thinking about it will generate some much-needed warmth. As we've talked about here in times past, the skunk cabbage is one early spring plant. Name two interesting characteristics of this wetland plant. (Aside from the fact that it IS a wetland plant!)

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


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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