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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Pymatuning Peace and Quiet
Photo by Pymatuning SP 
Nope, not going to talk about the weather. {Crickets.} Yes, I know. But spring is on the way, followed closely by summer.

And how's that quarantine haircut treating you? In a staff call this week we discussed the relative merits of a ball cap v. bandana and wouldn't you know we have those in our PPFF store (ppff.gives/store)? Brand new caps in blue and green have just arrived (although this picture is last year's version so I won't swear that the colors are 100% spot on given the variations in dye lots.)

The aerial photograph from Pymatuning State Park that is our masthead photo this week accompanies a post on the Pymatuning Spillway Trail project, exciting continued development of the Erie & Pittsburgh/Bessemer & Lake Erie railroad grades at that end of the park. It's going to be great!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

Today's Lunch & Learn features Sarah talking with Curt Weinhold, northern tier photographer extraordinaire. You know I nab Curt's photos all the time for Pictures of the Week and/or mastheads and he teaches a fairly regular class "up there" on night photography. We are lucky to have him today at noon for some pointers.

On Tuesday, the 19th we are looking forward to inviting our board members to spend a few minutes each with you. We will ask your indulgence and patience as we work to shuffle them in and out of our "studio space" following the morning's board meeting.

Thank you to the Friends of White Clay Creek who shared this wonderful musical chorus of "spring and summer in 22 seconds," a Northwoods Frog Call Phenology from Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisconsin. Wisconsin may seem far away but you know many of these species and this is an aural treat!

And while we are saluting Friends for sharing great information, here's a shout-out to the Friends of Nockamixon for sharing this infographic from the Virginia Wildlife Center on balloon releases. Just don't do it.

Many of you are looking forward to more and more park and forests facilities in yellow counties opening for "business," including campgrounds and, yes, especially restrooms. The interactive map that DCNR has put on the website is a wonderful resource for knowing what is open and available in your particular destination. "Know Before You Go." 

We do know that many people are frustrated and disappointed at having lost confirmed reservations in campground/cabins and not being able to re-reserve them as things open up. It's a REALLY tough to craft a work around; when you think of the sheer number of reservations that have had to cancel and the finite number of spaces and dates that are open to replace them, the only "fair" solution is to open the reservations system and let people make their best selections. It is hardly fair if you are among the folks who had a slot and now are left out in the cold, obviously, and all we can is thank you for your patience and tolerance on behalf of the parks staff.

Something that generally makes people calm and happy is time spent in a boat, so National Safe Boating Week is particularly welcome this year. Have fun. Be safe. 
#safeboating  #paddlesafely

Pictures of the Week

Oh, my goodess. Look at this little darling. Again from the Friends of White Clay Creek's Facebook page by PJ Perna Nature Shots, this little blue-grey gnatcatcher is so lovely and I know I would never see him in the wild. Toooooo tiny for my old eyes!
This shot of the Laurel Hill State Park office being constructed by the CCC is another tribute to the park's 75th anniversary. If you have been to LHSP, you will marvel at how different the setting is now. Hurray for trees!
Belated congratulations to the Friends of Kings Gap for their efforts to replace this Irish Gap Hollow trail bridge (accomplished last February when volunteering was not just a distant dream.)

Volunteers will be back!
This photo of the Spruce Gap Trail in Rothrock SF  is one of many by Michael Manoni to the Exploring PA Parks & Forests Facebook page with visits to five state forests in five days. Six forests in six days is in danger from weather and a tweaked knee. Good luck, Michael!

Take Five for Trivia

Were you as surprised as I am to know that Pennsylvania ranks FIFTH in spending on outdoor recreation? I imagine people tend to think of places like California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, even Massachusetts and Vermont as the traditional outdoorsy spending states. But we are right there in terms of our enthusiasm and devotion to the outdoors. Yay, us!

So you know you need a permit to launch your kayak or canoe in a Pennsylvania state park or forest. How long does your legal permit last once obtained?

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.

In Closing 

In the eye of the beholder. Photo by Jeff Krause, Tiadaghton 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.
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Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
704 Lisburn Road | Suite 102 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

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