Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of
Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests

Oh, oh, oh, my goodness. Check out that masthead! That is a sunrise stunner by Rusty Glessner from Baughman Rock overlooking the Yough River above Ohiopyle. It makes me a little homesick which I guess is good because by the time you are reading this, Bill and I (and Emma the Cat) will be in the magic minivan heading north to the Yough valley. Take a peek at Rusty's knock your socks off original as posted on the Hiking & Backpacking Pennsylvania Book of Faces. A million dollar sunrise indeed!

By the way, Rusty was good enough to allow us to use his equally beautiful shot of Whipple Dam State Park for our banquet invitation this year. He knows his way around the oranges and reds! Could it be the name? Thank you, Rusty!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of Note


PPFF has submitted a grant proposal to the Access Fund, the national organization devoted to the sport of climbing, to obtain a portion of the $55,000 the organization will award this year to support sustainable, safe access to climbing areas across the nation. Our grant is to increase safety measures for visitors at McConnells Mill State Park and we are requesting grant funds to improve access trails through erosion control and added steps, build fencing to protect vegetation and guide climbers, and post signage to show visitors to safer trails. These improvements will help PPFF work with the park to avoid more accidents and ensure climbing access.

Help us get past the first round of grants with your input to the Access Fund's Survey Monkey. You'll find us at No. 5 on the survey list; please give us a "5" in the dropdown as a high priority project. Thank you!

On March 25th, we posted an open letter to the Governor and the General Assembly expressing our heartfelt belief that the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship Funds must remain off limits to any attempting redirection into operational spending. As you know, we are working on securing additional funding to support maintenance and upkeep across the system and firmly believe that the parks and forests need more money not less. One solution could be the Governor's proposed RestorePA. Read more (including this open letter) and join the campaign at our Preserving the Legacy page, clickable from the front page of the website.

At Work and Play in the State Parks and Forests


Wrapping up March!

Can you help SINNEMAHONING STATE PARK with a little spring cleaning tomorrow morning? Lunch is your reward! The Friends of PINE GROVE FURNACE STATE PARK have scheduled a volunteer work day for tomorrow, beginning at 10:00 AM. As we all know, it was a pretty cold and wet spring and the park's trails took a hit. Come out and play in the mud and help get things ship-shape once again. (The event will repeat on April 14 at 2:00)

It's timberdoodle time again! Check out the amazing woodcocks at FRENCH CREEK STATE PARK in a Saturday evening program.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bill and I won't quite make it home in time but Saturday night the call has been issued for a Hike to Happy Hour at LAUREL RIDGE STATE PARK (otherwise known as the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail). A good long hike awaits, followed by a visit to a local winery.

The Friends of Cowans Gap host their annual 5k Run/Walk next Sunday. Can you help? This and other events are something the Cowans Gap group loves to organize - and they'd love to have your help making them successful. Contact Friends Co-Chair Fred Walls to offer your services.

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).

Picture of the Week


Our friends from the Susquehanna River Trail Association shared this photo of the Susquehanna from atop Second Mountain a few weeks ago. Nice perspective on a lovely vista. (Am assuming that's power lines. Mr. Photoshop might have been able to get rid of those for me but I have forced him to pack up Mr. Computer for the trip home! Now if I could get Mr. Handcycle in the van, we'd be in business.)

Take Five for Trivia


I have, dare I say it, opened quite the can of worms with last week's trivia question on the number of earthworm species native to the United States. I asked the question because I read one source that said NONE of them are native - that all were wiped out in the last ice age and everything here now is an "import." Smithsonian Magazine agrees with this to a point. But then numbers fluctuate wildly on several varieties of many different species ... Yikes! I have no choice but to call everyone correct and issue a correct response and chance in the hat to everyone who played.

It's my game. I can do what I want!

Let me strive to come up with a question with one definitive answer for this last week of March then, shall I? Saturday is Take a Walk in the Park Day but Marci and Joe (and Izzy the Faithful Canine) have just returned from a lovely birthday girl getaway to Worlds End State Park and environs. The weekend included a hike on the trail blazed as shown to the right. What in blazes is that trail?

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 (PPFF) is a proud member of Earth Share and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar participant.

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