Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of
Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests

Happy last Friday in September, everyone. We hope you have plans in place for your National Public Lands Day volunteer efforts tomorrow. It promises to be an absolutely gorgeous day and there are lots of opportunities to give back to the places you love. 

Driving back from Pymatuning State Park yesterday there is already a lot of color change happening on Route 31 heading west from Donegal. I am heading to Bedford this afternoon for a couple of days relaxing with my sister and I expect there is going to be evidence of autumn as I head out the Turnpike as well. The DCNR Fall Foliage Report website has been activated so you can keep track of where to go to leaf peep. 

The masthead this week is our People's Choice Best in Show - featuring the sweet face of Meredith Thomas's "Greyhound as the sun sets" taken at Pinchot State Park. 

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of Note

First, the sad news. We have indeed had to cancel the fundraiser at Burning Bridge Tavern for the Sam Lewis State Park environmental education center due to low ticket sales. You are still more than welcome to donate to the project itself as it is really a great adaptive re-use of a building that needs a new purpose and offers tangible support to youngsters to connect to the outdoors. Donate at the website for meeting the needs of Samuel S. Lewis State Park.

Now, the happy news. As noted above, the People's Choice winners in our annual photo contest have been posted and congratulated. We had 508 photos submitted to the contest this year and 2,030 votes were cast, both records. Check out the winners on the Gallery (linked at the top of every page of the PPFF website) or on Facebook at the People's Choice or Critics' Choice photo albums.

You'll recall last month I mentioned that Whipple Lake was about to go into drawdown; now that project is indeed scheduled to begin very soon. In conjunction with the drawdown, the Fish & Boat Commission and DCNR staff will begin trapping and relocating the fish that make the lake their home beginning on October 1. Friends of Greenwood Furnace chair Mike Rubano says, "Lowering lake levels and relocating fish is the first step in a project that includes removing large amounts of accumulated sediment from Whipple Lake. The process will include setting up seine nets below the spillway and fish baskets under the bridge where the stream exits the main lake. Electro-fishing will be used to temporarily stun the last remaining fish so they can be captured and relocated. I am curious to see what size and kinds of fish are hiding in the lake, and plan to show up early on Tuesday morning."

THAT sounds like really good advice. If you go, send photos!

From Montgomery County comes citizen science by 14-year old Rachel Bergey with her ingenious invention for eradicating spotted lanternflies without using pesticides or even stomping and squashing. And, parents, it's all because Rachel loves climbing trees and she did not want her beloved trees eradicated by this nasty bug. Next stop? Washington, DC and a national middle school science competition. GO, Rachel!

At Work and Play in the State Parks and Forests

National Public Lands Day IS officially this Saturday (the last Saturday in September) and you are needed, wanted, and to be celebrated as a Valuable Volunteer. Check the DCNR Calendar of Events for all the places you can contribute your time this weekend and more!


The Friends of Mount Pisgah and Bradford County Library team up for another Story Hour tomorrow morning at the Environmental Learning Center. (In addition to NPLD at PARKER DAM


Find NPLD events at NESCOPECK, and RALPH STOVER. Then when volunteering is done at NESCOPECK there's a chance to join with some Super Heroes at the Natural Play Area. Join NPLD events at JENNINGS, OHIOPYLE, RACCOON CREEK, and with the Laurel Mountain Volunteer Group of FORBES STATE FOREST before heading up to McCONNELLS MILL for the annual Heritage Festival on Saturday AND Sunday.

Pymatuning State Park is buzzing with anticipation over the upcoming Spooktacular weekends (next weekend 10/4 and 10/5 and the following 10/11 and 10/12). Pumpkins will be raced, zombies will be avoided, bicycles will be ridden, food will definitely be eaten, and fun will be had by all! The Friends of Pymatuning have their hands in this one as well as their own events (like this summer's first-ever Onion Festival) and they are truly in need of organizational back-up. They are delighted by the number of folks who will come out always to volunteer but now they are in need of the detail-oriented among you. If you like to tell people what to do, get in touch with Chair Dan and be involved!

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).

Picture of the Week


Congratulations to the Friends of Lyman Run - realizing the dream of a new playground for the park!

Take Five for Trivia


Amazing to think (vis a vis last week's question) that there are 25 species of chipmunks in the world and 24 of them are North American. Only the Siberian chipmunk (which I would be hard-pressed to differentiate from his North American cousins) hails from elsewhere. All of them are adorable and, speaking on behalf of Sadie and Sander (my canine friends) lots of fun to watch.

In honor of NPLD, tell me what state has the highest rate of volunteerism (in 2018)?

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


(Click to see the full image)

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 (PPFF) is a proud member of Earth Share and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar participant.

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