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

You probably saw the same Facebook post I did about it feeling like it was January 74th. Wow, what a long month. It did as promised, though, end with a glorious super moon. The annular lunar eclipse thing wasn't (as you will have discovered) possible to see here in the eastern time zone but that moon peeking over the horizon Wednesday evening at precisely the 6:38 PM predicted by Accuweather was a sight to see. And, no, my smartphone isn't smart enough to get a good shot. This is the best I could do. Still we enjoyed it!

Check out that fun photo in the masthead. Thanks to Warren Barton for the share to the McConnells Mill State Park Facebook page as a companion to another chilly shot he took, labeling the two "Hells Hollow and a pleasant surprise." That little icy mohawk is indeed a surprise!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

Amanda, Marci, and Joe were up at the Capitol bright and early yesterday morning putting the 2017 photo contest winners on display. Any time you find yourself in Harrisburg during the month of February, stop on over to the East Wing Rotunda and see the photos. They will be on tour again this summer so if you miss them at the Capitol you will have other chances but why wait! And start thinking about your entries into the 2018 contest.

The photos were set up the morning after Marci had a great meeting up at Worlds End State Park for the formation of a new friends group there. A mission statement and goals for the group were established and the next meeting will happen in early March. If Worlds End is your idea of heaven, consider becoming a member of the group. Ditto the Rothrock State Forest where an initial informational session is scheduled for February 26; details can be found on our events calendar.

Earlier this week the PA Senate passed a resolution encouraging the governor to lift the moratorium on drilling in state forests. We will be encouraging Governor Wolf to keep the moratorium in place. Stay tuned to our Facebook page or the News section of our website for further developments.

I don't know whether you have had a chance to visit the Bureau of Forestry's Facebook page but they have been including a regular post called Forest Fridays. Touching on geology, biology, morphology, and a little bit of fun (and just the ones from 2018), these posts are well worth a read.

We have gotten a couple of really good suggestions for the name of the Bus Transportation Scholarship Program over on the Facebook page. I have my favorite but don't know if it will be the winner or not. It's not too late to tell Marci what you think it SHOULD be called and win a prize if your idea is chosen.

As you know, February is Black History Month. Visit the PAConservationHeritage website to learn about Ralph Brock and his contributions to Pennsylvania forestry.

The Highmark Walk Link (http://hcf.convio.net/ppff) is live and ready! Walk with us on May 19.

At work and play in the parks and forests


Are you feeling festive? There's an outlet for that this weekend with THREE winter celebrations ready for your enjoyment.


First up in the festival circuit is Presque Isle Snow Day tomorrow from 10 to 5.


When you need a break from all that fun, head over to Ridley Creek State Park for their February trail volunteer day. Wait a minute. Volunteering is fun, too, especially when you're with a group who have been at it with as much enthusiasm as the Friends of Ridley Creek have!


Nescopeck State Park is the setting for the eastern WinterFest 2018 from 11 to 3.


Join the Friends of Ohiopyle at the Sugarloaf Sledding Area for their Winterfest from 11 to 4.

No matter what region of the commonwealth you want to visit, our website Events and the DCNR Calendar of Events are great sources for things to see and do. Bookmark them!

Picture of the week


True confessions. This week's Picture of the Week was not taken in a state park or forest but is instead the Sugar Shack of good friends who make genuine Somerset County Maple Syrup, the best there is! The first boil has taken place there and my mouth is already watering for pancakes to come. Before long, many of our parks will be hosting sugaring demonstrations and bottling up their own contributions to the Maple Syrup Lovers Society. Keep an eye on that Calendar of Events!

Take five for trivia


To close out January, we asked how long it had been since there was a Super Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Event in the Americas and the answer was 150 years. I do wish we had been able to get the eclipse part of the trifecta here in the east. Next time!

Congratulations to first time contestant BSR Kathy, our winner for January. Lucky lady gets the prize.

Let us begin a new month! We all know that today is a very important day on the meteorological calendar, and that this morning's prediction for six more weeks of winter wasn't what some may have wished. For your question this week, what do Charles Howard Curran and Punxsutawney Phil have in common?

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 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar Participant.

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