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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Underwater or Sky?
Clare Kaczmarek
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Under normal circumstances I wouldn't use two photographs by the same person in one issue of Take Five but as I was scrolling down the feed on Exploring PA Park & Forests past Clare Kaczmarek's sunrise photo at Keystone taken last weekend, I found the masthead shot from Forbes State Forest that I had somehow missed at the end of January. I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature it. I don't know; that tree in the foreground looks like a plant you'd use in an aquarium to me, and tropical blue water. 

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

Reader Lancaster Kelly and family took our calendar listing from a few weeks ago and headed out to Jennings Environmental Education Center last weekend for the Maple Sugaring event. Thanks to her for sharing these photos. They even got to stop by Moraine State Park for WinterFest while they were "out west."

Anyone for waffles?

The Spring issue of Penn's Stewards, our thrice-yearly newsletter, should be in mailboxes shortly. If you just can't wait, check it out online!


While populating the events calendar on EarthDay50PA.org I found a listing at Harrisburg's Midtown Cinema on Earth Day Night (April 22; 7:00 PM) for Intelligent Trees, a documentary that, it is said, formed the basis of Richard Powers' Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Overstory (a book, I am ashamed to say, I have yet to read) as well as Peter Wollebehn's "The Hidden Life of Trees" mentioned in a Take Five a few months back. 

The event benefits Manada Conservancy of Harrisburg. View the trailer on YouTube. Then consider a gift to PPFF's Year of the Trees campaign.

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 #TrailTuesday from the Bureau of State Parks visits the Midland Trail at Caledonia State Park tucked away along Route 30 in Franklin County. 
No state forest #TrailTuesday this week but Kyle Fawcett was out in the Bald Eagle and shared this view of a CCC pine plantation. Sun and trees - a winner every time.
Good PPFF Friend Samantha Fordick took a hike in the Rothrock State Foret last week and shared quite a few lovely shots including this from Highline Vista.
This space yet again reserved for the birds - a Pymatuning nuthatch captured marvelously by Kenneth Keeler. 
One would be tempted to think there was an early morning photographers' workshop going on at Keystone State Park last weekend! Click each to see their originals. 

Upper left: Bob Stough, Sunrise on February 7
Upper right: Bob Fescemyer, Before Sunrise on February 8
Bottom: Clare Kaczmarek, Sunrise on February 8

At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests

Bear in mind that this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count so there are plenty of opportunities in plenty of places to perform some citizen science and see and report what you see and where you see it.
North Black Moshannon State Park 2/15/2020 10:00 AM Fun in the (No) Snow at Black Mo
South Gifford Pinchot State Park 2/15/2020 1:00 PM Winter Walk
East Nescopeck State Park 2/15/2020 1:00 PM Cutting Down on Bird/Window Collisions
West Presque Isle State Park 2/17/2020 10:00 AM Family Day

Be sure to check for any registration requirements (there are some on occasion).

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

An origin story was the basis of our question last week- the origins of Laurel Hill State Park, in this its 75th birthday year. Basically, LHSP began as one of the many CCC camps (in this case, a Recreational Demonstration Area, which was a rather convoluted way of saying it was intended from the first to be a place where ordinary folks like you and me could get outside and enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature). It was a novel and innovative idea and, we're happy to say, they are still innovating out there are LHSP. Word came through the Somerset Daily American this week that a new solar array has been installed at the Scenic View property where 260 panels will provide electricity to the property as it develops and down the mountain to the campground entrance.

For this week: Roses are red, violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so is maple syrple. Just how much sap does it take to make a gallon of maple syrple?

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. With a nice green box to send you to the green hills of Laurel Hill State Park. Click the map to make it larger and more legible.

In Closing

Happy Valentine's Day 
(Or Galentine's Day or Palentine's Day!)
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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