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FOR TWENTY YEARS
Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
The Outdoors is for Everyone - Clear Creek State Forest
Photo by Jake Hartsfield
There is no question that November has arrived in the Laurel Highlands. The only visible color now is from a few remaining golds among the greens. I have to agree with Neighbor Wendy, though, that this was one of the most beautiful and long-lasting falls in recent memory. But it's hard to believe that just last Friday she, Cathy, and I biked up to Pinkerton Tunnel on the Great Allegheny Passage and enjoyed putting our feet in the Casselman River over lunch. Not today.
That was the good news for Neighbor Wendy. The BAD news is that she had an embedded tick from beloved Sander who is nothing short of a tick magnet. Be aware that those little buggers are very much still in evidence. I do still have a ready supply of our "tick cards" for those who would like to carry one or a few in their day packs or share them with organizations to which they belong. Free for the asking.
There was no resisting the masthead photo this week, not for a cat lover such as myself. Taken in Kennerdell, Venango County, we'll call it Clear Creek State Forest. Happy Halloween, ya'll!
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
News of Note
It's really fun the things that come in over the transom when you least expect it. That's exactly what happened in the last couple of months. First, artist and yogi Stephanie Koller got in touch with an idea for an endangered species calendar based on her artwork. The idea is now a reality and the calendar is ready and for sale on Stephanie's Weather Vein website.
Then we heard from State College yogi Anna Engels and her outdoor-inspired leggings. Sunny Get Up transforms Anna's photographs into ... yoga pants! They're all lovely but we have to admit that we may be just a little bit biased in the direction of the Forest Bathing leggings, inspired by the Alan Seeger Natural Area near Anna's home. Check out her cheerful designs at the website.
Each of these warm and generous women will send a portion of their proceeds to the Foundation.
Next week provides a couple of interesting learning opportunities - one from us and one from our friends at the PA Recreation & Parks Society. Sarah will be joined by Fluff Berger of the Western PA Mushroom Club for a Wednesday Lunch & Learn on the Facebook page and our YouTube channel.
Then on Thursday, Kathy Salisbury of Temple University presents an in-depth workshop on distinguishing between native and non-native tree species. Registration is required for this one and there is a small fee of $10 that will help support PRPS's educational activities.
It's that time of year again, folks - time to nominate your favorite trail for Trail of the Year. You've only a few weeks to get your nominations in so get to work. Deadline is November 20th.
Speaking of nominations, we are tickled pink to announce that our annual awards will make their return in 2021! Rather than plan a banquet that might just have to be cancelled in the face of an ongoing pandemic, we are planning a Road Show to honor 50 COVID-19 champions. Finding a balance and calm in the outdoors has been a saving grace these last several months and we know that there are special people out there who have made these experiences possible. We would like to honor them and plan to travel the Commonwealth to do it. We are looking forward to hearing their stories and sharing them with you next spring. If you know someone - literally anyone - who helped make the outdoors a place to find release during the pandemic, please nominate them.
Even the briefest glance at a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer noting that "Visits to Pennsylvania's parks increased by 7 million" will give you an idea why this awards idea seems like a no-brainer to us. Imagine an increase of 26% in your workload ... your herdable cats ... your chores and errands. Let's congratulate all of those people in whatever capacity who pointed the way to the nearest forest or trail and said, "Go. Be."
It's nearly ExtraGive time again!
No hikes or milkshakes with Marci this year in deference to gathering restrictions but we still have some fun up our sleeves. Stay tuned to find out more!
Pictures of the Week
The spirit of Halloween has drawn me to stretch the bounds of "state parks and forests" to include this Nancy Ann Senchak photo from Jim Thorpe. It's on the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail, so we'll call it Lehigh Gorge State Park!
Here's an inviting place to take in the colors at Prompton State Park. The photo is by Tanya Chabon Meridionale. It's our weekly jigsaw.
The southern tier is well-represented with color in this photo by Bill Bonney at Caledonia State Park. I've hiked there, have you?
Visit Delco (Delaware County, youse guys) awarded Rachel Tarbutton first place in their Delco Trail Mix photo contest. "Sunset at Ridley Creek State Park." Nice job, Rachel!
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the extension of the deadline to choose a recipient of workplace giving contributions for state employees.
At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests
Full moon. Halloween. The end of daylight saving time. It's a momentous weekend - and there's fun to be had! Let's talk a walk!
The DCNR page for Hickory Run State Park does include a fascinating history of this amazing park. On it you learn that among the famous Robert Morris, John James Audubon, Samuel Gould (and other Goulds), Henry Clay Trexler, and, of course, the CCC Boys all had their part in the history of the park and the surroundings. I told Reader Aaron that his answer of George Washington was incorrect. However, given the battles that were fought in and around the area during the Revolution, who's to say he DIDN'T sleep here, too!
Don't answer now - tune in to Lunch & Learn! How many native wild mushroom species do we have here in the commonwealth?
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.
Where Are We?
Places boxed in red are from photos and calendar listings. White boxes are fun yet to come. Click it to see it bigger.
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.