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

Goodness, I'm breathless. Yes, Earth Day is tomorrow; Dr. J.T. Rothrock Memorial Conservation Week kicks off (see below); the PPFF Awards banquet is just a little over two weeks off; Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is now about a month away; the wildflowers have exploded; and Wendy and I saw a Northern Parula at Ohiopyle's Ramcat parking area this week, doing his level best to defeat the enemy in a car's rearview mirror. Everything's just a little chaotic!

Like the contents of my scrambled brain. I saved the photograph that is this week's masthead sometime last Fall. From a Facebook page. Somewhere. Usually, I would name the original photo with the source and photographer's name and for whatever reason I didn't with this little guy, just saved him as a masthead for "April 2017 sometime." 

So if he's your masterpiece, great job. He defines green, and I suspect it isn't easy being it.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


Geology Day / Plein Air Day at Hammonds Rocks was a hit; check out the photographs on our Facebook page and do take advantage of the opportunity to join us when we do it again (as we are certain to do). This is just a precious photograph of some very young potential rockhounds getting perhaps their first taste of why all those rocks matter.

Among the many volunteer opportunities heading your way this spring are two days of graffiti removal at Hickory Run State Park (the Boulder Field on May 3 and Buttermilk Falls on May 4), a roadside clean-up at the Michaux on May 6, and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the proposed Friends of Pymatuning on June 7.

As mentioned above, Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock Memorial Conservation Week is upon us. Rothrock Week was designated by the Pennsylvania legislature all the way back in the misty mists of time in 1961 to honor the memory of Dr. Rothrock for his mammoth contributions to the health of Penn's Woods. The designation seeks to encourage citizens of the state to "consider through suitable activities the broader subject of conservation of all of the natural resources from which the wealth of the Commonwealth is derived."

What lovely phrasing that is - "suitable activities." It is personal, making a space for each of us to do (or NOT do) whatever individually honors our conservation ideals. You could simply be grateful that we have so much woodland in Pennsylvania or lace up your hiking shoes and find a new trail in a favorite forest. Just sometime in the upcoming week take a moment to tip your cap to JTR. Share your photos of suitable activities on our Facebook page with #RothrockWeek, #EarthWeek. We'd love to see what you're up to!

At work and play in the parks and forests


Naturally, Earth Day is the focus of our activity this week. It's your turn to give a little back to the planet who gives us so much. So rather than try to pull them all out here and risk missing someone, just give a click to the DCNR Calendar of Events and click on April 22. There are no fewer than 20 volunteer events listed there with a little something for everyone in every nook and cranny of the Commonwealth.

I'll be out at Laurel Hill for the Friends' Earth Day work day and meeting. Marci will be down at Pine Grove Furnace for the Friends' work day and dedication of the fab new Mountain Trail bridge. Beth is planning to beautify her mother's corner of the Earth with weeding and new planting. Sadly, Lisa will be heading to Maryland to look for a new home to share with her beloved Frank, who has gone and gotten himself a new job. (So, yes, if you are/know a fantastic, first-rate bookkeeper/accountant type in need of a job, PPFF needs you!)

Thank you!

Picture of the week


The Picture this week is a multimedia presentation courtesy of our friends at the Bureau of Forestry. Do take a moment to read the entire post that accompanied this photograph of the Louisiana Water Thrush on the Pennsylvania Forests Facebook page, one of the little guys I am prone to overlook for being just another "little brown job."

The very next post on the page is a cut to YouTube for the little guy's call. Aren't you absolutely certain you have heard that song before? I have - and did not know to whom it belonged.

Spotlight on the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community


Prize incentives have been announced from a couple of our terrific sponsors! First, all walkers signed up with at least a $25 donation before midnight on May 1 will be eligible for a drawing for an ASICS duffel bag and $25 gift certificate from The Inside Track. AND, for each $50 you raise in support of our efforts you will receive a chance to win an EMS backpack to be awarded at the PPFF table on Walk Day. Raise $50, you have one chance; raise $100, you have two - and so on. And then there's the Clif Bar bags, books, and actual bars that are just waiting to go home with lucky participants.

Everyone on our team gets a Clif Bar on Walk Day and, frankly, if that includes one of the new Nut Butter Filled chocolate/peanut butter ones, I might be tempted to try to RUN that 5k. Well, maybe not THAT tempted but still. 

Time is ticking away! Sign up already!

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is one of 48 Harrisburg area health and community service organizations whose participation in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is being underwritten by Highmark Blue Shield. Support our efforts and 100% of your donation is retained by PPFF for our work to make Pennsylvania's state parks and forests havens for good health.

Take five for trivia


Even the fisherfolk were surprised by the answer to last week's question. It is true. Rainbow trout and steelhead are the same species. Now Steven F. quibbled a bit with the simplicity of the idea and I get it. But basically, deep down (way deep, at the DNA level, eh?), they are the same - rainbow are fresh water and steelhead mostly salt water fish, returning to the fresh water to spawn.

This week, tell us what other species of water thrush might muddy (pun intended) your identification of a Louisiana Water Thrush?

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


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 is a Gold GuideStar Participant.


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