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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Watts Bay - Moraine State Park
Doug Holscher
Here in Somerset County, this week marked night after night of dramatic skies (not the least of which my first fireflies of the season) and from the photos I saw posted by friends from far off places, that seems to have been the norm. So it was at Moraine State Park, as you can see from Doug's masthead photo.

Thanks for the submission, sir!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

As you are out and about this summer at various state parks campgrounds (especially Fowlers Hollow), keep an eye open for this little portable free library at the campground hosts' site. It will be PPFF Marci, SO Joe, and Izzy the Dog. Take a book, leave a book. And say hi!

The latest events to fall victim to COVID-19 are the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace's annual Fall Furnace Fest in October and the Friends of Shawnee's annual fireworks celebration. The Friends are hopeful that both will make a triumphant return in 2021!

Even though Shawnee State Park can't host its annual fireworks display, there will be lots of events across the system (see the "Look Ahead" box below) including an anniversary weekend at Parker Dam State Park. Check out a look back Through the Years July 4th morning.

Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center is seeking those interested in becoming part of a trail maintenance crew for the park. An orientation is being held Saturday morning for two different ideas on how to manage this; check out the event listing for additional details.

Join us on Tuesday for another Lunch & Learn at noon on the Facebook page or YouTube channel. Our guest will be Allison Acevedo of the Department of Environmental Protection. Allison is Director of Environmental Justice and, indeed, that will be the subject of Tuesday's chat. 

If your business or organization would like to sponsor the Lunch & Learn series and help support your state parks and forests, please drop an email to partner@paparksandforests.org and find out more. 
Back when PPFF Sarah posted the Seven Wonders of Pennsylvania's state parks and forests she included a surprise Eighth Wonder, the marvelous staff that makes these places special. 

Well. Curtis, the educator at Samuel S. Lewis State Park, just might be a Ninth Wonder all by himself. Sing along with him - and LET IT GROW!

We are extremely proud that your donations are making possible a new educational center where Curtis and his students may pursue their dreams for healthy habitat.

Pictures of the Week

Click each photo to see the original. Thanks to all the photographers and state park and forest fans who share their joy in these wonderful places. Share yours anywhere with #PPFFTakeFive. This week these were all taken from the Exploring PA Parks & Forests Facebook page. There are plenty more to tickle your fancy there.
Well, you must give a click to Thomas Jude's picture of the "Enchanting Trail" at Laurel Summit State Park. He's done a little trickery with the leaves in the foreground and it is enchanting indeed. 
That Enchanting Trail leads to Spruce Flats Bog and, as luck would have it, Clare Kaczmarek was there that very evening to capture the sunset. Enchanting times two!
Thanks to Keith Warren and Pup Unnamed for sharing a stroll through the mountain laurel in Michaux State Forest for those of us who couldn't get there in person. Terrific little video!
It is hard to beat a starry night photo so thanks to Doug Clifford for another gem from Long Toe Vista in the Susquehannock State Forest. 

Could I possibly be cruel enough to make this one the week's jigsaw? Yes, I could! Give it a go!

National Trails Month History Moment

Long before intrepid explorers of the state's hiking trails set off on their favorite pastime, the Native American inhabitants of the region were criss-crossing this wilderness by foot (without benefit of hydration devices or Vibram-soled boots). 

The definitive book on the subject of Native American footpaths in Pennsylvania is the 1963 volume by Paul D. Wallace called "Indian Paths of Pennsylvania." As Wallace writes: "... despite their undoubted historical importance, it is difficult to study and write about Indian paths today, since they have left few visible remains to catch the eye and submit to measurement and appraisal." 

Yet he managed in the book to do just that to a degree that is both amazing in its detail and frustrating in the realization of what has been lost to the passage of time.

The book (and a 35-page 1952 treatise for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) is available online through the Internet Archive, a compendium of free resources available for the clicking. This map illustrates the inside covers (apologies for the off-kilter nature of the center line as I pieced this together from two screenshots) and gives but a taste of the number and variety of these thoroughfares.

At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests

As noted previously, events (involving fewer than 25 people) are starting to make a comeback. In any instance, it is always wise to make a call to the appropriate park office or sponsoring organization to make sure an event is truly going to take place or that space is available.
North R.B. Winter State Park 6/26/2020 10:00 AM or 1:00 PM Survival Series: Beginning Backpacking
South Gifford Pinchot State Park 6/27/2020 10:00 AM Forest Habitat Hunt
East Beltzville State Park 6/27/2020 8:30 AM Warbler Walk
West Pymatuning State Park 6/27/2020 10:00 AM Purple Martin Mania


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).

Take Five for Trivia

Last week I asked for the names of five of the Bureau of Forestry's "13" official state hiking trails. Alert Reader Steven pointed out there are actually 18. Maybe I couldn't read Marci's writing on her question suggestion? Maybe!

In any event, he was correct about that and many of you were correct in your selections of at least five of them. Note I did not ask how many you have actually hiked, in whole or in part. I have been on a whopping ONE (she admits shamefacedly) - nor did I ask how many miles are contained within those trails (798).

This week we revisit a favorite topic: fireflies. The life cycle of these darlings is not one to be envied, I'm afraid. They spend how much of their lives in a larval stage, just waiting for one burst of exuberance (and phosphorescence)?

Send your answer to me and I'll enter you into the month's random drawing for a goodie from the prize closet if you answer correctly. Enter each week for more chances to win.

Where Are We?

Places boxed in red are from photos and calendar listings; the white boxes illustrate the "upcoming" events. Green boxes are news stories.

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.
Copyright © 2020 | Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation | All rights reserved.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
704 Lisburn Road | Suite 102 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

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