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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Grindstone Falls - McConnells Mill State Park
Photo by Walter Keith
Let's see. High winds. Torrential rain. Even snow. A wild weather week in western (and I think all) Pennsylvania. At least we did not have tornadoes as down south. The heart grieves for all they are going through down there.

Of course, we all continue to contend with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty and discomfort that swirls around us even as Spring refuses to cooperate and take hold in earnest. A little sustained sunshine and warmth just might help firm our resolve. I'd like to say a little thank you to everyone who's hanging in there, frustrated and tired as we all get at times. Wear your mask, wash your hands, go for a good long walk. Neighbor Wendy's yard is really looking lovely and I feel better about my garage than I have in a long time! 

A wonderful reminder for best practices in the outdoors comes in the form of a 70-second PSA produced by our new friends at Allied Pixel. Thanks to PPFF Sarah for shepherding this project through to conclusion. Check it out on our YouTube channel. It's terrific!

Springtime, mad though it can be, in Pennsylvania means waterfalls and this lovely little cascade submitted to the Exploring PA Parks and Forests Facebook page by Walter Keith is as nice as they come. 

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

Thank you, mask sewing friends! The singing of your Singers (or Vikings or Necchis) has so far meant dozens of masks have gone to Bald Eagle, Black Moshannon, Hills Creek, Kinzua Bridge, Lyman Run, Parker Dam, R.B. Winter, Sinnemahoning, Chapman, Mount Pisgah, and Sizerville state parks as well as the Parks Region 1 and Bureau of Facilities Design offices in Emporium. Friends of Lyman Run/Cherry Springs Dark Sky Association maven Maxine models her mask. Of COURSE it has stars on it!

If you can help get in touch with PPFF Jenna, please! I know we are still looking for a few dozen masks for Little Pine, Reeds Gap, Shikellamy, and Kettle Creek state parks - and each of the 20 state forests districts and the Mira Lloyd Dock Resource Center need 30 to 50 masks a piece. (And if your local park/forest is in need, let Jenna know that as well.)  Here is a mask made from a PPFF Wearable Checklist bandana in use at Sinnemahoning State Park. Let's keep all these good people safe - we need them! Again, a tutorial from the PA Department of Health links to this New York Times article with detailed instructions on a good, washable, reusable version

In the midst of all the current disruptions, we are still able to happily welcome a new chapter to the PPFF fold - the Friends of Ole Bull! If you've not been to this little treasure "up north," I suggest you open your Pennsylvania State Parks and State Forests Passport to that page and plan your excursion.

Speaking of the Passport, PPFF Marci was looking for something on YouTube last week and sent me a "Have you ever seen this?" email. "This" is a video from Fishing PA with Ryan Read in which Ryan does a thorough review of the Passport program. We are grateful for the plug, Ryan. If anyone knows the good Mr. Read, tell him so please! 
You know it! Next week IS Earth Week and, yes, it is definitely taking a different form from that expected. A special Earth Day edition of Take Five is in the works for release tomorrow but in the meantime get these two virtual experiences on your calendar for the opportunity to view one of the PA Conservation Heritage Project documentaries and then participate in a panel discussion on the issues raised by the films. Click the photos to enlarge them.

The first, featuring "Generations Yet to Come," the story of the Environmental Rights Amendment to the PA Constitution, is hosted on Monday evening by the members of the South Mountain Partnership. Registration in advance is required

"Penn's Woods: Cradle of Conservation" will be featured in a presentation by WITF-TV. This film traces the history of resource extraction in the Commonwealth and the resources' recovery from industrial impact. No registration required; access the broadcast at OVEE: https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/pwkhq

Pictures of the Week

It was only after I chose them that I realized how prominently a place water has in these photos. Fitting when you consider how important it is to us every single day. Must be kismet because I then learned that we are at the end of the first PA Clean Water Week. 
Friends of Goddard Fran says he's all too aware that the marina and the bike trail at the park are the most popular features but there are some hidden gems, too. Like this cascade along the Falling Run Trail. Fran's right!
You got me - this is in no way Ole Bull this week. It IS from last August when photo master Curt Weinhold was at the park with the Susquehannock Trail Club. 
This one in a Somerset County Facebook page by Matt Gibson has a watery effect that you have to click to really see. I could almost say that Matt photographed this as a reflection. Nifty!
This picture by Mike Jasinski is so atmospheric that I am left wondering, "high noon or midnight?" It's from White Clay Creek Preserve down there in the southeast nigh on Delaware. That little park is on my list!

Take Five for Trivia

Trivia answer from last week? There are 22 species of salamander native to Pennsylvania from the tiny (perhaps only 2.5 inches long) northern dusky salamander to our Pennsylvania state amphibian, the Eastern hellbender (as large as 29 inches). Admittedly a few of them seem to have "a face only a mother could love," but they are also quite fascinating. My favorite salamander fact? They breathe AND drink through their skin. 

The 56th anniversary of Rachel Carson's death was this week. To what facet of Rachel Carson's work do we owe our ability to watch raptors today?

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.

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.
Copyright © 2020 | Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation | All rights reserved.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
704 Lisburn Road | Suite 102 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

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