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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Bugs Beware
Photo by Pam Metzger
You know it's a busy week when you look at the clock and calendar it's 4:00 on Thursday and you haven't written word one for Take Five/Fridays with Pam. Oops! 

Well, it's been Earth Week and while it might not have taken the form that anyone wanted it has been a welcome diversion from the world's other problems. Here in Confluence Wednesday was actually the only decent weather day of the week. Windy, but beautiful. I decided to take some time during the afternoon to take a walk down to Ramcat launch and record a few of the species I found for the statewide Bio Blitz. I saw an osprey but no photo. 

Now I'm all too aware that my barn swallow photograph is hardly the quality of most of the masthead shots I feature but I was tickled to capture the little bug eater on my cellphone, one of several dozen feeding over the Yough as I was walking. I just started snapping, hoping I might catch one reasonable picture. Bless his little bug-eating heart.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

Late Thursday came word from DCNR that the park closures will continue through May 8. Anyone with reservations for cabins, picnic pavilions, campsites, etc. through that date will automatically receive a refund of reservations and fees. In fact, you may have already received that communication from ReserveAmerica. 

The Governor's color-coded (red, yellow, green) plan for reopening the state was announced Thursday morning. Working with Carnegie Mellon University to gather good, sound scientific evidence for the plan north-central and north-west regions of the state are planned to move from red to yellow at that time. We will learn with you how this goes. With five new cases in Somerset County between last week and this, the Metzgers plan to be wary. The state parks facilities now closed will be following the Governor's color-coded plan as well. 

You watched our PSA, right? 

Long-time readers may remember that Carmichaels Area High School (Fayette County) students were among the top performers at last summer's international Envirothon competition in Raleigh, NC. Now comes word that the middle and high school students have been honored with the 2020 MWEE School of Excellence Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators. MWEE? That's "Meaningful Watershed Education Experience" and the Carmichaels kids won for their project to restore habitat on the Ferncliff Peninsula right down the Yough River at Ohiopyle State Park. 

Carmichaels was one of three recipients of this award along with Halifax Middle School (Perry County) for creation of an Environmental Field Day and Conestoga Valley High School (Lancaster County) for their school-wide "Green Team" and the promotion of on-campus recycling. Read more about these and other great programs on the awards page. Way to GO.

Before we let the big anniversary get too far in our rear view mirrors, check out the Pennsylvania Forestry Association's Spring newsletter all about Earth Day

On the political front, an amendment to pending House legislation freezing spending from some key conservation and community development funds passed on the day before Earth Day in spite of objections from nearly everyone in the environmental community. We will be opposing this in the Senate as well. Thanks to former DEP Secretary David Hess for the summary provided in his daily Environment Digest Blog.
We aren't letting Earth Day get away so easily, hosting a showing of the Mira Lloyd Dock documentary, "A Beautiful Crusade" on our Facebook and YouTube channels next Wednesday evening at 7:00. State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger, PSU Mont Alto professor Craig Houghton, and Conservation Fund's Pennsylvania State Director Kyle Shenk will join Marci for a look at how important Mira Lloyd Dock has been to each of them personally and to all of us as the Mother of Forestry in the Commonwealth. No registration required; just click in and join us!

Watch for upcoming noon Lunch and Learn with PPFF live streams on Facebook and YouTube:

4/28/2020: #Tree Tuesday with former William Penn District Forester (and trained arborist) Joe Frassetta on the right way to plant a tree. We've just added a fact sheet on the subject to our Get Outdoors webpage as well as we think ahead to when we can out there and do just that!

To be scheduled - stay tuned for dates
  • What goes into developing a trail map with Mike Herman of Purple Lizard Maps
  • Tick prevention with Penn State Extension and PA Lyme Disease Network
  • Other great ideas being finalized
What else would you like to see/learn? Let us know!

Pictures of the Week

Glad you were able to get out and celebrate Earth Day in the only way we can right now - by enjoying the gifts of our planet.
This is just a terrific Earth Day photograph! Silvia Paesano and companion hiked MP 57 to 70 on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. Got some steps on that Fitbit.
I can't talk about the LHHT without mentioning good friend Ted Massa who logged his 8,000th mile on the trail this week. He might not be as spry as this flicker he captured mid-hop at Keystone State Park but I wouldn't/don't/can't challenge him on the trail.
Love to see Amanda Galvan out there with the pups. Usually she can be found wrangling volunteers for REI. Maybe the pups are easier? Maybe. 
Melaney Stremmel didn't get her Earth Day gear in time but that "old faithful" Get Out...Side shirt was a great substitute. The Earth Day word search is still up on the website and there it will stay!

Take Five for Trivia

Trivia last week? To what facet of Rachel Carson's work do we owe our ability to watch raptors today? Her work to connect the dots between pesticides and their impact on the birds and their eggs. And what an amazing comeback it was when DDT was banned. She did not, unfortunately, live to see it.

We have our abundance of barn swallows here along the Yough. What other swallows might we see in Pennsylvania?

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 

We can all use a "moment of zen" these days. Click the photo to link to WNEP-TV's video moment from photojournalist Bonnie Frisbie. Ahhhhhh.
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.
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Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
704 Lisburn Road | Suite 102 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

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