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

Well, Spring has arrived on little cat's feet or however it gets here and brings with it, I hope, lots of sunny smiles and willing volunteers and park and forest users. If your New Year's Resolution to get outside more in 2017 has taken a bit of a hit in recent weeks, here's to a renewed sense of outdoor spirit. Next Thursday is Take a Walk in the Park Day. They'll be doing just that at Little Buffalo at 11:00 AM. And the Friends of Beltzville have their weekly walking club EVERY Thursday.

It's been a while since we featured anything on the Golden Eagle Migration Project at Tuscarora State Forest. This week I was looking around for a good "lovely spring photo" for our masthead and paid a visit to the TSF Facebook page. This photograph was posted in late February so it's not only a little late but also does not quite fit the greening up/wildflowers shot one might expect for a spring masthead. Be aware that some of the photos from the baited feeding station for the eagles can be a little less than appetizing for some of the more squeamish among us. However, the research on not only the migrating eagles who visit the feeding stations like these but the other wildlife captured by the webcams is incredibly valuable. And here your eyes can't help but be drawn to the outstretched talons. Ouch!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


The gallery showcase of winners in the 2016 Parks & Forests Through the Seasons photo contest has made its way to Sinnemahoning for the month of April so be sure to check it out should you venture to the PA Wilds in the next several weeks. We hope you'll be inspired to get your entry in as well.

Speaking of the Tuscarora, retired forester Gene couldn't stay away too long and has just let us know that he and some volunteers have finished up a Juniata River island campsite development project through the auspices of the Stewards of Penn's Woods. Keep an eye on the Tuscarora's Facebook and the PA Fish & Boat Commission's website for an update to the river map to include these newly established (and volunteer maintained) campsites. Thank you, Gene and crew. You can't keep a good forester out of the woods (or water as the case may be).

This week's birthday salute goes to Samuel Gibson Dixon (born March 28, 1851), a pioneering bacteriologist who led the fledgling Pennsylvania Department of Health from 1905 until his death in 1918. He learned - and taught - that clean water was a keystone of good health, and worked to protect Pennsylvania's. Learn about him and other conservation heroes on the PAConservationHeritage.org site.

Excited to learn that 39 of Pennsylvania's 54 beaches will be smoke-free beginning with the Memorial Day weekend. This is sure to figure in our summer newsletter feature on Pennsylvania's state park and forest beaches. What other stories and anecdotes (and photos) should we feature? Send them to newsletter@paparksandforests.org.

April 15th will be a fun day at Hammonds Rocks. Find out more about Geology Day and Plein Air Day.

At work and play in the parks and forests


The calendar is fair bursting with spring hikes - a trend we bet will continue for a while!


Time your visit to the photo gallery showcase properly and you can enjoy a Signs of Spring Hike tomorrow at Sinnemahoning.


Signs of Spring will have reached the Forbes State Forest, too, we hope. Look for them tomorrow morning. 


Although there's a cost involved, tomorrow at Washington Crossiing you'll have the opportunity to attend a workshop and make your own berry basket like those used in the late 19th century to transport strawberries to the restaurants of New York City.


Get up bright and early tomorrow morning for a Spring Bird Hike at Yellow Creek State Park with the Todd Bird Club.

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


Talented regular contributor Phyllis shared a few shots of her bear encounter with the PA Game Commission this week and I am delighted to be able to find her in front of the camera for a change. You may recall that Phyllis' eagle photo taken at Prince Gallitzin State Park was our Fur Feathers Fins & Scales People's Choice winner in 2016. You can see it in person at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County in Johnstown beginning August 12.

Spotlight on the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community


All walkers and fundraisers for our May 20 event are eligible for a menu of fun prizes based on the level of support achieved.

Sign up before Midnight on 4/5 and we'll enter you into our latest incentive drawing for a ($90 value) Adventurer backpack from our friends at Eddie Bauer in The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace.

The Adventurer is "One of our largest and most popular daypacks, the Adventurer now features our FreeCool™ back panel for enhanced air flow—no more back sweat. Built to last for years, it has multiple features that keep it efficient and comfortable, even when carrying heavier loads. An all-around performer that works equally well on trail or on campus. Hydration compatible."


So the only question we have for you at this point is what are you waiting for? Sign up already!

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is one of 48 Harrisburg area health and community service organizations whose participation in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is being underwritten by Highmark Blue Shield. Support our efforts and 100% of your donation is retained by PPFF for our work to make Pennsylvania's state parks and forests havens for good health.

Take five for trivia


Good job, everyone, for not avoiding the obvious and knowing that the tundra swans are migrating north to the tundra. I feel somewhat like them in that next week Bill and I will be migrating north back to Confluence. Consequently, this week's question will be a two-week question as there will be no Take Five next week so I can pack boxes and mop floors. Be sure to check in with our Facebook page where Amanda and Marci keep up a steady and entertaining stream of information and inspiration. Even if you don't have a true Facebook account, our page is public and available to everyone to enjoy.

Speaking of beaches, which state forest has a sandy beach and where is it located?

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


Photo by Jennifer Ingram, Sinnemahoning State Park. Submitted to 2015 Parks & Forests Thru The Seasons photo contest. Send us yours!

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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