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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Solitary Sentinel - Moraine State Park
Wendy Duchene
As promised, Take Five/Fridays with Pam undergoes a little streamlining for the new year, with a nod to the loyal readers who weighed in with their opinions on changes they would like to see in our publications and promotions. 

The #1 request was more photos so here we go! The only way that works is if you share, though. So pick your place to post and I'll do my best to pull out some goodies each week: If you do post to Facebook (or if you are a Twitter or Instagram user), consider using #PPFFTakeFive and we'll catch you that way, too.

Nice to start out the New Year with a great shot from Neighbor Wendy, who spends the Christmas/New Year week up at the Moraine State Park cabins with good long-time friends. This solitary tree from New Year's Day is, she assures us, not a black and white photo. "The world was black and white." Her original is posted to her own Facebook page so the privacy settings may bar you from seeing it. Nevertheless, give a click to try!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

The First Day Hikes are the big news this week. A cursory look at posts from our Friends groups and other parks reveals that attendance was definitely UP again this year. DCNR will make the final calculations as numbers roll in but isn't it wonderful how many people have come to realize that there just is simply NO better way to begin your new year than by being outside? 

Thanks to all who posted their pictures using #PAFirstDayHike, including Heather Bowder who shared these cuties enjoying a post hike hot chocolate at Cowans Gap State Park.

We are now officially in the 50th anniversary year of Earth Day (#EarthDay50PA). Stay tuned as in the coming weeks we'll be launching the official website for Pennsylvania's celebration at EarthDay50PA.org. We will be happy to include listings for your volunteer events, school projects, creative crafts, burning issues, and anything else you can come up with - and if you have any celebrity friends, please be in touch. We would love to prepare a series of public service announcements featuring prominent Pennsylvanians. If anyone knows Bradley Cooper, let me know!

In support of these efforts, we are happy to say we got a grant from the 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation to be used to help fund service projects and educational outreach as part of the anniversary of Earth Day. So keep watch on that new website - I'll let you know when it is launched!

The first Earth Day was promoted by California Senator Gaylord Nelson in response to a gigantic oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in January 1969. Senator Nelson proposed a national "teach-in" to educate the public on environmental issues. 

Pictures of the Week

Each week you'll be able to click a photo for the opportunity to see the original. And thanks to all the photographers and state park and forest fans who share their joy in these wonderful places. 
Clare Kaczmarek captured the first sunrise of 2020 at Baughman Rock Overlook at Ohiopyle State Park - one of my favorite views, too. 
McConnells Mill State Park was the site for Justin Michael's First Day Hike. Looks crisp!
The New Year came in cold and bright at Black Moshannon State Park where Audra Hixon took this shot of the lake from, it looks like, the Bog Trail. 
Shout out to Melissa Galla and her crew at the Old Forge area of Michaux State Forest - "six and a half weeks post knee surgery." Extra credit also for picking up trash as they walked. Kudos!

At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests

North Parker Dam State Park 1/4/20 1:00 PM Learning to Snowshoe
South Kings Gap Environmental Education Center 1/4/20 1:00 PM Hike Off the Holidays
East Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center 1/5/20 2:00 PM Beginning Bird Identification
West Kinzua Bridge State Park 1/4/20 7:30 AM Winter Bird Feeding

The second most popular request for Fridays is "a little more warning" about upcoming events. Now I have always taken the position that a good way to make sure that you don't miss something would be to take to heart my weekly reminder at the bottom of each events box to bookmark our calendar and DCNR's but I have no objection to running a simple list of potential fun so you can plan ahead. 

These and other fun events and fulfilling volunteer opportunities can be found on the PPFF events calendar and DCNR Calendar of Events. Bookmark them and you'll never miss the boat (or hike or festival).

Take Five for Trivia

Coming up with weekly trivia is, I have to admit, the most challenging piece in this weekly email. I know I have a lot of experts in various outdoor disciplines reading along so if you have a brain teaser that you'd like to share, please do!

In last week's trivia game we asked what year the Delaware Canal was completed and the correct answer is 1832. And it's flooded nearly yearly ever since (all right, that might be an exaggeration but when it comes to needed infrastructure repairs, DCSP requires a lot of love and attention).

Congratulations to our final trivia winner of 2019 - Becky Colyer of Newport in beautiful Perry County.

To start off our New Year, let's give a nod to our state bird, the ruffed grouse. Grouse populations have been declining precipitously over the past several years as a result of two very different threats. Can you name one?

Remember, correct answers are thrown into the pot for a random drawing at the end of each month so the more you play and answer correctly the more chances you have to score a bandana (usually) from the prize closet. Send your answer to me - the only deadline is before I write and send Fridays at the end of a month.

For January we'll be giving away a 2020 State Parks Calendar so get your entries in!

Where Are We?

The final request from Fridays readers was some way of pinpointing the places we talk about each week because, as we all can appreciate, Pennsylvania is a BIG state!

This is my first attempt at a solution (low-tech though it is) to this problem. Places in red are from photos and calendar listings; the white boxes illustrate the "upcoming" events. Let me know if this helps (and click it to make it larger).

In Closing

This one has to be one of my favorite shots from the First Day Hikes post to our Facebook page (check them out here) - thanks to Rachel Snyder for "Soaring into the New Year." I don't know where it was taken but give a click to the original

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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