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

Here's hoping your holiday rush has been completed and now all that's left to do this last weekend before Christmas is to take a long walk in the woods ... or ski ... or bike ride on those big mushy funny-looking tires we've started to see ... or just sit in front the window and watch the snow fall. It looks like there is actually the chance for a white Christmas this year! Regardless of that, this is the time for enjoying all that time together with loved ones is supposed to be.

Maybe you'll make the spinach dip breadstick tree Marci posted on the Facebook page this week. Maybe you'll even share it with those loved ones!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

Our PPFF holiday card this year featured the masthead shot from Shawnee State Park taken by Matt Stich and submitted to our 2017 Parks and Forests Through the Seasons photo contest. It's just too lovely not to include here as well. Happy holidays to ALL!

News of note


A lovely and growing event for the Friends of Nolde Forest and the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center is the Nature of Nolde Forest student art contest. Organizer Russell Slocum shared a bunch of photos of the recently concluded event and noted that participation was 21 local area schools this (up from 16 last year). The gallery of winners is on display from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm at Mr. Slocum's Art Plus Gallery in Reading.

Enjoy photographs (by Blair Seitz) of some of the winning entries at our website. We're kind of fond of this drawing by Governor Mifflin High School junior Kailyn Williams and her message of doom for the beautiful but environmentally disastrous spotted lanternfly. Check it out in detail at the Art Plus Gallery instragram stream.

At work and play in the parks and forests


To no one's surprise, once again the official Calendar of Events is pretty light this weekend. But the parks and forests are open and ready for your enjoyment and relaxation.

Celebrate Mira Lloyd Dock's birthday on Monday with a visit to one of the state forests she worked so tirelessly to protect. And she loved her Harrisburg, too, with her ground-breaking work on the City Beautiful project. Eventually everyone came around to Mira's way of thinking about the city and its riverfront. I think there's a couple of photo ops in there.


Picture of the week


Really who can resist a view as completely "winter wonderland" as this one by Joe Bove at Nescopeck State Park. One Facebook reader noted, "That tree is waving to us!"

Take five for trivia


Last week's trivia question resulted in a lot of equivocation. With good reason where anything to do with snow is involved. Some love it, some hate it and all that hot and cold, wet or dry, love it or leave it discussion results in a range of potential answers revolving around "it depends." Our dear friend Larry makes me green with envy when he talks about his lifelong love of the art of downhill skiing so I can't help but reproduce his entire answer for you:

The general answer to your question is 10 inches of snow usually equals 1 inch of water (rain).

The specific answer depends on the amount of moisture in the snow and what region of the country you're talking about.

For example, snow generated by weather coming in from the Pacific Ocean often has high moisture content, thus the name skiers and snowboarders give it - "Sierra Cement." It's so heavy it's like trying to ski mashed potatoes.

That same snow, when it travels across states such as Nevada, dries out a bit and becomes what Ski Utah markets as "Champagne Powder." It might take 15 inches of that snow - or more - to equal one inch of water (rain).

Anyone who has ever made a snow person knows "dry" snow won't do. It has to have some "pack-able" moisture in it. Unless, of course, you dampen it with a few sprays of water.

-- Larry PhS (powder hound skier with 1.5 million vertical feet of heli-skiing).*

* A helicopter flies skiers and snowboarders from a remote lodge, lands on or near the tops of the mountains and down everyone goes to where the helicopter is waiting to take them back up again. Sometimes the snow conditions are superb; other times less so. The drier - and deeper - the snow, the better.

I would never argue with the guy!

As you contemplate the joys of champagne, be it the snowy type or the bubbly type, consider our question for this week. Just so you don't go stomping the WRONG thing, name three ways to identify the spotted lanternfly throughout its lifecycle.

Submit your answer for entry into our random monthly prize drawing. Each correct response per week goes into the hat and at the end of the month one lucky winner receives a PPFF goodie. The more weeks you enter, the better your chances!

In closing


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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