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Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Kayaks at Sinnemahoning
Photo by Curt Weinhold
And so Memorial Day arrives. And with the dawning of today, fully 49 counties in Pennsylvania will have moved into the yellow phase of reopening. (Click the interactive map from DCNR to check the parks and forests in your county.) All nine state park marinas are open and state park shoreline mooring areas are likewise open. I wish I could say that beach weather will arrive with this unofficial summer weekend. That is certainly not the case here in the Highlands, so the expected delay of swimming area opening until at least next weekend isn't really all that problematic!

In any event, campgrounds in those yellow counties are open (no cabins or cottages until June 12) and I think it is safe to say that they will. be. crowded. Please exercise good judgment as you go out this weekend, but enjoy the fresh air and the return of the things we all love best about being outside. Our public service announcement video is a pretty cool (if we do say so ourselves) reminder of what we mean. For me, I hope to see a little of the world from a bicycle seat if the promised rain does not appear.

I flipped the masthead text this week in deference to Curt Weinhold's perfect placement of fisherfolks at Sinnemahoning State Park. What a beautifully relaxing day for fishermen and the kayakers who paddled quietly by (one of them right under the "T" in "Take Five"). Thanks to Curt for joining us in our Lunch & Learn last week. If you didn't get to tune in for his photography tips, the video (and all of our LNLs) await you on the Facebook page and YouTube channel

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

Today's Lunch & Learn features Michele Burton on the subject of forest therapy. Find out what that is at noon! Thanks to our board for their appearance on Tuesday's show this week. Meet them and tune in at our Facebook page or YouTube channel. (Just as a reminder, our Facebook page is public so you do not need to be a Facebook user to visit it any time you wish. Facebook will nag you to join but you can just ignore it.)

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through next Saturday is Parks & Forests Week celebrating the 127th anniversary of our state park and state forest systems. We have a bunch of special virtual events and projects to share with you next week, including the Seven Wonders of Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests on our social media.

Our first volunteer event of the year is shaping up for between Parks & Forests Week and National Trails Day (June 6) in Bald Eagle State Forest. Tentative date is Wednesday, June 3 with a rain date of Thursday. Keep an eye on our calendar of events for the details as they are confirmed.

The week will include a philanthropy campaign in support of the Foundation as well. Cognizant of the financial challenges that are a part of the pandemic, we have been reluctant to broach the subject of fundraising. Still, the need for dollars has not gone away and so we will ask for your support through a few emails and our social media outlets. Please know that we are grateful for whatever you can contribute. Thanks to the generosity of some of our dedicated board members a pool of matching money has been made available to double the dollars from devoted donors. If you can be among them, give a click to the Parks & Forests Week support page.

The Friends of Kings Gap's annual native plant sale was almost a COVID-19 casualty but flexibility is the name of the game these days and the Friends came up with a solution. Real plants, virtual sale!

Visit the Friends website for the hows and wherefores. 

Speaking of plants, now that the snow has finally stopped falling, you might be thinking about getting the garden ready (or thinking ahead for a second planting).

A photo series from Moraine State Park on creating transplantable soil blocks of starters is definitely something for the green thumb toolkit. 

Hearty thanks go to all those who made calls or sent emails to PA House members this week in opposition to HB 2004. It is silent right now under the green dome on Third Street in Harrisburg as the bill was pulled from committee consideration in the face of your efforts. While we would wish that this means the bill's sponsors have reconsidered this ill-advised measure, we are by no means confident that this is the case. Be prepared, please, to keep the pressure applied in the week ahead. 

Pictures of the Week

Lovely shots of fiddleheads in the Forbes from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau Facebook page. 
Chuck Miller and his Cannondale made it from the bottom of the Blue Knob State Park ski slopes to the top of Pennsylvania's second highest summit in two hours. He says the ride back down was worth the climb!
This isn't exactly a Picture of THIS Week, but a shot from Paul Smith submitted to our photo contest several years ago. I am using it to illustrate the return of some virtual events to the DCNR calendar - in this case, Virtual Boulder Field Basics tomorrow at 1:00 PM. Looking forward to reintroducing the weekly calendar review to Fridays!
I am happy to report that Michael Manoni (whose saga was reported last issue) completed seven state forests in seven days. This photograph from Pinchot State Forest again one of several to the Exploring PA Parks & Forests Facebook page. 

Take Five for Trivia

Okay, last week's was kind of a trick question. A  Fish & Boat Commission permit for a canoe or kayak is good for one year or two years depending on which one you buy. BUT I will say that it's hard to imagine buying a one-year permit since it expires on December 31 of the year you buy it, which means you could theoretically only get a few months from it. So double your money, but double your fun with a two-year!

This week takes us back in time. The PA Forestry Commission was formed in 1893 to begin the process of reforesting a devastated landscape. Its first purchase was not made until five years later, at what site?

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

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