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

Words are slow to come today. It's what happens, I think, when I look at the calendar and it says, "It's Thursday. Again." And another week has gone swiftly by. It does tend to rock one back on one's heels for a moment.

As I think all my snow bunnies back home have been rocked. For the masthead this week, then, I am "reduced" to recycling a lovely shot from years past taken by friend Wendy during one of her Christmas visits to Moraine State Park. It's appropriate - Wendy will visit here beginning next week.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


Phew. Technical difficulties beyond our control have been resolved and the video entries to our anti-graffiti schools campaign have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for your review and voting. Give a thumbs up to your favorite video but, please, do it quickly. We'll close the voting on Monday, January 30.

Waiting patiently for independent confirmation (i.e., the Official Word from DCNR) but a post on the Book of Faces early Thursday morning notes that Pittsburgh's Montour Trail is the 2017 Trail of the Year. Aha! It is now official.

I may be just a little biased where the Montour is concerned because Bill was a founding member of the Trail Council and he and I were married on it way back in 1997. The honor is a very nice little 20th anniversary present! Sincere congratulations to one of the hardest-working trail groups I know.

A lovely little chunk of property (156 acres) has been added to Buchanan State Forest through the efforts of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The property, located along Evitts Mountain, connects property conveyed to the state in 2011 with the Maryland border and Rocky Gap State Park there. Here's an AllTrails.com write-up on the 8-mile hike on the Maryland side we will now be able to enjoy from Penn's Woods.

Since we're on the welcome subject of trails, there's a Fuzzy one located in the Michaux State Forest where illegal ATV-trails have done extensive damage to the vernal pools that support groundwater aquifers, reduce run-off, and provide habitat for wetland creatures of all sorts. Proudly we say that PPFF has received a grant from New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, CO to replace lost seed and soil in the vernal pools along the forest's Fuzzy Trail. Wait. What? Coconut Curry Hefeweizen?

At work and play in the parks and forests


They are out there. Still. Bringing the winter fun!


The Clearfield YMCA's annual Winter Festival is on tap this weekend at Parker Dam State Park, with polar plunging and 5k running, crazy hats, and a darned good time.


Although no formal programs grace the southern calendar for the balance of January, this means you have a perfect opportunity to visit one of the region's parks in which you might not yet have set foot or hiking boot. Check out the calendar for the South region for a list of them.


A two-fer program this evening at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center features both snakes of Pennsylvania and a look at Louisiana's Kisatchie National Forest (where, I daresay, a few snakes might be found).


Few things are as glorious as a majestic oak tree so at Raccoon Creek tomorrow they'll focus on them - and their edibleness with a program ($15 fee) on oaks and the acorns that grow 'em.

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 second annual Nature of Nolde art contest has concluded, with 2500 Berks County students having taken part in the contest, gallery showing, and awards ceremony at the park Mansion. Brecknock Elementary School's Hannah West took first place in the Grades 1 and 2 Arts Media category with her colored pencil drawing of the park's Turtle Pond.

Visit the online gallery of 75 finalists in all categories whose work competed in the final judging. Congratulations to everyone for another wonderful program!

Take five for trivia


Last week's question was a little geography trivia - not too hard for the brain. 2017 River of the Year, the Allegheny, rises in Potter County just north of Route 49 between Colesburg and Gold, two thriving metropoli of the north.

To complete our first month of quizzes for the new year, list three ways you might Get Involved and help out in our state parks and forests. (Hint: there's a really fun nonprofit with a really lovely website that includes some great suggestions.)

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


As I said, words are hard this week but this picture is certainly worth several thousand of them. Lovely shot of Snyder-Middleswarth Natural Area by Michael McFarland, posted to the Hiking & Backpacking Pennsylvania Facebook page.

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 is a Gold GuideStar Participant.


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