What a difference 24 hours makes. On the heels of the closure of the three Montgomery County parks (Norristown Farm Park, Evansburg State Park, and Fort Washington State Park) comes word from DCNR that allorganized events and activities in state parks and forests are cancelled through the end of April. Please note this could be extended if the virus is not contained to a satisfactory degree by then.
Right now, campgrounds will open as scheduled and the forests and parks (apart from Montgomery County) will remain open for personal, individual recreation. Obviously, all the precautions that have been advised in our daily lives apply to activities in the outdoors as well - wash your hands, be cognizant of the fact that others are sharing the public restrooms and other spaces and behave accordingly, perhaps keep the number of companions on any excursion small.
You don't need me to tell you that panic isn't helpful, caution is advised, and time in the outdoors is a key ingredient to good health and diminished stress. We know this will take the wind out of our sails - but sometimes the wind changes direction and the sails just need to be re-set. We and DCNR keep your health and safety at the top of mind now and always.
Be sure to give the masthead shot by Steph Beichner a click to the original - the clarity of the Clarion awaits.
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
News of Note
With all the cancellations and postponements and general up-in-the-airedness of conferences, workshops, events, and - yes - banquets this year we are feeling a little proud of ourselves for being slightly ahead of the curve. We had decided in January that we would forego our annual awards banquet this year in order to devote that money (and time and energy) to the Year of the Trees effort in fund- and volunteer-raising to get strong healthy trees back into our parks and forests.
Your support of this endeavor (as much as if not more than that you give to the annual banquet) will mean a lot to all of us. Official postcard invitations will be in the mail next week but consider yourselves pre-invited with this link to the project: https://ppff.events/year-of-the-trees-unbanquet-info
Maybe your business, employer, or civic group would like to be a sponsor of the Un-Banquet (and perhaps help us with an intramural tree-planting of your very own). If so, the attached sponsorship form suitable for downloading provides the deets.
The cart attached to the back of this utility vehicle may look shiny and clean right now but it certainly won't stay that way! The foresters at Moshannon State Forest will make sure of that as they head out to work on the trails and other parcels of the Moshannon. Thanks to PPFF donors and friends, they can haul tools and supplies a whole lot easier. Thank you!
We do love that Earth Day 50 logo. We love it so much we've put it on a set of Bonfire Tees shirts.
If you remember how this works from previous Bonfire promotions, you order your shirts directly from Bonfire and when (not if) the minimum is reached the shirts are produced and mailed directly to you from Bonfire. There are some really cool styles available from hoodies to baseball jerseys.
Click each photo to see the original. Thanks to all the photographers and state park and forest fans who share their joy in these wonderful places. Share yours anywhere with #PPFFTakeFive.
We just had a Lake Shore Trail at Shawnee State Park a few weeks ago and now here's one at Little Pine State Park. That might make an interesting trivia question. How many Lake Shore Trails do we have?
Regardless of how many Lake Shores there may be, I am pretty sure this is the only Ant Hill. It's part of the Flat Rock trail system in the Michaux State Forest.
Congratulations to Kenneth Keeler for nicely capturing this little group of hooded mergansers at Pymatuning State Park. The best I can ever manage is them fleeing at top speed across a body of water. Shy little darlings.
Near as I can tell from the Facebook page, Robyn Welch visits Prompton State Park at least once a month and enjoys waterfalls in all seasons. When they're this lovely, why not?
Outdoor Advocacy Dayhas fallen victim at least in part to changes in schedule (although nothing to do with COVID-19 but instead the cancellation by the House of their session days that week). Rather than a rally and educational exhibits, the partners (PPFF, Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society and Pennsylvania Environmental Council) will conduct a press conference and visits with any legislators or staffers available in the building.
You are welcome to join in! However, if you are unable to make the trek to Harrisburg, please consider joining us on a legislative tour of your favorite park or forest. We'll begin scheduling those over the next month or so.
At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests
I look forward to the day when this column is populated again with great activities and events!
Where Are We?
Red boxes denote photo locations. Give a click to a bigger version.
Take Five for Trivia
I wonder if the other months have as many old wives' tales/superstitions/ adages associated with them as March. So while we've nearly all hear the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" adage, there were many others found by our readers. My favorite (one that I had never heard or found when I was researching this was from Scotland: March comes in with adders' heads, And goes out with peacocks' tails.
By their nature, forest system "Wild and Natural Areas" are left unmanaged by DCNR so that shiny cart will NOT be making its way into what places of the Moshannon State Forest?
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.
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.