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

We took a break last week as I visited with the Friends of Prince Gallitzin and Friends of Yellow Creek on Wednesday and Thursday nights respectively. Up at Prince G, the fun rolls on at Crooked Run Campground where they're preparing for their next big campground extravaganza when Santa Claus comes to town in a couple of weeks. At Yellow Creek, there have been Wednesday night sailing lessons all summer and the spring's monthly mountain bike races will culminate in the series championship at the end of September.

It was overcast Wednesday evening at Prince Gallitzin as you can see from my masthead shot of sailboats on the lake. I had originally intended to tent camp but there had been so much rain that I decided against it on the way up and booked a motel instead. Walking around the marina, I felt kind of bad about the decision since it seemed like it was clearing, and there were even peeks of sunshine. Mid-meeting, however, we had a gullywasher. Phew!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

As of this writing, the Parks & Forests Through the Seasons photo gallery showcase of winners from 2017's photo contest is on display at Canoe Creek. They'll be there through the end of the month so please stop by the environmental learning center and take a look. The deadline for entry in this year's contest is fast approaching on September 5 and we'd love to feature your picture in next year's gallery tour! Next stop after this is Parker Dam State Park beginning with a public reception on August 29.

The Rothrock State Forest's updated recreational trails plan was released at a public meeting on July 16. This comprehensive and ambitious plan will provide a great framework for the work of the new Friends of Rothrock so if you are in the State College neck of the woods and are interested in those trails, opportunity knocks here for getting in on the literal ground floor of the forest's trail system transformation.

Your next best opportunity meet the Friends and the trail plan is at the planned Rothrock Trail Fest at Tussey Mountain on September 29. Check out the details for what looks like a fun day on two wheels or feet!

Just arrived in the office this week - our new "been there, done that" bandana to be given to everyone who completes the Seen 'Em All Challenge and completes their Pennsylvania State Parks and State Forests Passport visits. How close are you to having been to all 121 parks and 20 forests? Let us know. Or get your copy and get started!

This week's Take Five includes a hello and a good-bye. Many of the Friends of Prince Gallitzin came to the meeting Wednesday night following a visit with the family of the late Twila Wright. Twila and her late husband Harvey were the original campground hosts in Crooked Run and were early and devoted friends of the park and all her visitors. They will both be sorely missed.

For PPFF, our hello comes in the form of a new board member - Brian Kavalukas of Pittsburgh. We were lucky enough to capture Brian's attention through the campaign to restore the shelters along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. Brian's enthusiastic support of that effort and indeed all of what we're doing led him to accept our invitation to the board. Meet Brian and all of our great board members on the website - or at a PPFF or chapter event near you!


At work and play in the parks and forests


Kicking off another busy month before school starts. What? Schooooooool???


The Friends of Lyman Run will host a Saturday evening kayak tour - registration is required so that boats are available so give a quick click and get on board


The Friends of Greenwood Furnace invite you to Saturday's Fun on the Beach Day with activities designed to make sure you have what? Yes. Fun on the beach!


If you've been reading any media lately you'll know there have been some pretty amazing astronomical phenomena in the news. So let's hope for clear skies on Saturday night at Promised Land when the Lackawanna Astronomy Society will present their star party


Quebec Run Wild Area in the Forbes State Forest is a hiker's dream and fit and ready hikers are invited to a Quebec Run Quest Saturday morning with Forbes educator Rachael. The effort will be worth it!

No matter what region of the commonwealth you want to visit, our website Events and the DCNR Calendar of Events are great sources for things to see and do. Bookmark them!

Picture of the week


Sheesh. I might be monopolizing the conversation with my photos this week but I had a lovely lakeside camping cottage (#5 is now claimed for my own) at Yellow Creek State Park and this full moon view was mine without even having to put my book down. Not bad!

Take five for trivia


Thinking back a couple of weeks to what turned out to be the last question for July: Who made the first gift of land [to Pennsylvania's state park system] and what did it become? The answer is Buchanan's Birthplace State Park, gifted to the Commonwealth by Buchanan's niece, Harriet. "The gift" wasn't quite as simple as it may sound - check out the full story on the History page of the park's website.

Congratulations go to Chrissy A. of Coraopolis, our randomly selected winner for July.

To kick off August, I drove out Route 422 on my way to Yellow Creek State Park. What early "highway" followed roughly the same route?

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

August is Family Fun Month. Where will you go?

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 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar Participant.

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