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1845 Market Street | Suite 202 | Camp Hill, PA 17011
717.236.7644 www.PAParksandForests.org


Get ready to Explore PA with the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
Photo by Brian Berchtold
Presque Isle State Park

Busy Days and Happy Evenings

National Great Outdoors Month Beckons

Welcome to summer! Yes, we know. The season has had a shaky start thus far with more May showers than is, strictly speaking, normal. But who's to say what's "normal" - and who needs "normal" anyway! 

We know that eventually it's going to get very toasty warm and the beach will call out to you. The Summer issue of Penn's Stewards, the Foundation's print newsletter, anticipated that happy occasion with a cover story on Pennsylvanians' favorite beaches - and, no, they are NOT at the Jersey Shore! The masthead photo is just one of them, featuring a classic shot of Presque Isle State Park (our big beach) from local photographer Brian Berchtold (who, it must be said, has a wonderful knack for capturing PISP in all its moods and, apparently, a pretty good ping pong game). Not to be missed, however, is Erie Bluffs State Park, as as-yet-undeveloped gem in Pennsylvania's extreme northwestern corner. You'll find hiking trails that allow views out over the lake and dreams of what might yet be for the property.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

Take the Initiative

This Summer, Everyone Is!

Listen. We weren't all just born with some sort of ingrained knowledge of How to Be Confident Outdoors. They are learned skills and, quite frankly, not all of us were blessed with those parents who believed that summer means A Great Outdoor Adventure. But if you are determined to become that parent or just treat yourself to the gift of outdoor confidence, the Foundation invites you to join in our Back to Basics series this summer through our social media and website. Each week, we'll feature a simple, essential, need to know idea or resource for getting you and your family outside. Like you'd always known how to be there!

Our friends at REI are concentrating their efforts on women and girls this summer with their Force of Nature promotion. With events, classes, gear, and inspiration, they want you to shine with the knowledge that you can be outdoorsy even if everyone has said you are not.

Great Outdoors Month

How Will You Celebrate?

Every year Great Outdoors Month (June) kicks off with National Trails Day on the first Saturday, slides through National Get Outdoors Day on June 10, and the fun doesn't stop until well after the last campfire is extinguished following the Great American Campout on June 24. 

As noted by the American Recreation Coalition, this year participation will be more important than ever before. ARC's Ben Nasta wrote, "This year will be incredibly important for outdoor recreation. New studies by the recreation community will document just how important outdoor recreation is to local, state and national economies [$650 billion nationwide economic impact], and recreation needs will be considered as the nation designs a new infrastructure investment program. As more and more Americans look for healthy, fun ways to stay active, the outdoor recreation community is uniquely positioned to help people lead healthier lifestyles by connecting them with their great outdoors – and the celebration of Great Outdoors Month 2017 will lead the way!"

The same goes for Pennsylvania, where your support for your state parks and forests - and the people who work so hard in so many ways to make them the treasures they are - must be shared with your elected officials. There may be no better - or more fun - way to make your voice heard on behalf of outdoor recreation than to do what you love to do, and make sure your elected officials hear about it. 

The Foundation has developed a page on our website (Save Our Parks and Forests) where (along with our Facebook page) we will be posting a series of action steps you can take, language you can use for legislator contact, and documents and graphics that tell some of the detailed information you need to know and share about the importance of our parks and forests to our communities, our health, our economy, and our quality of life. 

Please be ready to do your part to #SaveOurParksandForests.
Sometimes you just have to get out of the office and do something physical and fun, and lucky are the employees whose companies not only recognize it but encourage it - just like these great folks from FCM Travel Solutions who did an exhausting and exhilarating clean-up at Bucks County's Neshaminy State Park

Last year, the Foundation was accepted into EarthShare, coordinator of environmental workplace giving campaigns. Not only will federal (and now state) employees have the opportunity to support our programs through payroll deduction but private companies have a way to reach out to us for both financial support and a day of stewardship in one of Pennsylvania's state parks or forests, just like FCM did. Get in touch with Marci Mowery at the Foundation to explore the possibilities.

Two Special Fundraising Opportunities

Providing Comfort to Hikers Two-Footed and Four

Among the items on the State Parks and Forests Needs List is a dog-friendly water fountain for Dauphin County's Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area (where the Foundation is also working to create a brand new friends group). 

The 12 miles of trails at Boyd Big Tree are a popular close-to-home hiking location for lots of Capital Area pups and their owners. Keep their tails wagging and tongues wet with a donation to the Fido & Me Fountain Fund.
A $10,000 seed grant from REI Pittsburgh (with $14,000 yet to be raised) means new life for 20 as-yet-unrestored shelters used by the many hikers who enjoy the 70-mile long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. These three-sided shelters are a welcome reward after a long day of challenging western Pennsylvania rocks and hills.

Read more about the project and support this effort on this special campaign page of the Foundation's website.

A Salute to Volunteerism

Recognizing the People Who Make A Difference

The Foundation's annual celebration of volunteerism (otherwise known as our awards banquet) is our way of saying thank you to some of the people who work so hard in support of our state parks and forests. (Check out their stories on the News page of our website.)

One such award-winning project this past year was the efforts of the Graffiti Busters, who made removal of the 6,500 square feet of unsightly graffiti marring Hammonds Rocks in the Michaux State Forest their focus. Graffiti removal elsewhere in the commonwealth remains a priority for the Foundation with other sites suffering the same sort of vandalism. An early May (and rather chilly) visit to Hickory Run and Lehigh Gorge (Buttermilk Falls shown here) state parks presented its own set of challenges for this northern tier group of Busters. Thanks to all of them, including one passing hiker at the Boulder Field, who dropped his daypack and picked up a scrub brush!
Two new videos tell the story of volunteerism in the state parks and forests and the Foundation's role in helping it happen. Check them out on our YouTube channel! 

We're preparing a third video on Parks and Forests For Everyone and we'd love to showcase just that - everyone of every age, color, creed, and user group - enjoying our public lands. Send your high resolution horizontal images to Marci Mowery of the Foundation and show us your favorite place and activity.

Looking Ahead to July

Park and Recreation Month Focuses Locally

"They" always say to "think globally and act locally." This July, your local parks and recreation department wants you to Think Globally and PLAY Locally with their Get Your Play On theme for National Park and Recreation Month. Here at the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, our focus is on your state parks and forests, but the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society is one of our key partners and we are happy to support their efforts to promote The Power of Parks.

Amusements Corner

Trivia - and Some Time in the Kitchen or By the Campfire

Foil dinners are a camper's friend, and this delightful concoction from the aptly named Delish turned up in a Facebook post the other day: Philly Cheesesteak Foil Packets. They are carb-free (but we won't tell a soul if you decide to put them on a bun anyway).

There are those who insist that "carbs are bad." We prefer to live by the motto "everything in moderation," and being active is one way to alleviate excessive concern about over-indulgence. Thus, the question in our last issue asked roughly how many calories you might burn off in an hour-long moderate hike on your favorite state park or forest trail. Reader Mary Jo's favorite trail is the 4.5-mile Lake-Forest Loop Trail at Beaver County's Raccoon Creek State Park (which you could increase to six miles if you tack on the Beach and Valley Trails).

She noted that she hikes about 2.5 miles an hour and can burn 1,375 calories in an hour of hiking on the Loop. That's worth at least one foil packet, for sure!

Our quiz for June: Name three reasons why investment in our state parks and forests makes good economic sense for the commonwealth.

Send your answer to Pam Metzger at the Foundation. All correct answers go into the hiking boot for a drawing for a "wearable checklist" to the state parks and forests - otherwise known as our bright orange bandana

2018 Now on Sale

Be Ready When It Gets Here

Your office wall is bare without a beautiful calendar to gaze upon. Let the 2018 (with four months of 2017 in a one page spread) Pennsylvania State Parks calendar inspire you to adventure. Featuring lovely photographs of some of your favorite parks (and perhaps a few you've yet to consider), there's room to write and room to dream.

Get yours today from the PPFF Online Store.
Copyright © 2017 | Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation | All rights reserved.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
1845 Market Street | Suite 202 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

Thank you to our friends at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources for their assistance in the preparation of Explore.

The support of the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) of the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources is also gratefully acknowledged.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization--contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. No goods or services were received in exchange for this contribution. The official registration of PPFF may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.


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