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

After being away last week, I vowed that this week I would NOT talk about the weather! Could I just say, though ...

We have had a few thru-bikers over the last couple of days and walks on the Great Allegheny Passage would suggest that a short ride is not impossible. At least today!

What is important to note is that tomorrow is your best opportunity to celebrate Earth Day (which is actually Sunday). The calendar is chock full of ways to get out and give a little care to the mother planet and we hope you will give a few minutes - perhaps 125 minutes in honor of the 125th anniversary of state parks and forests!

This lovely fella photographed at Hickory Run State Park is all dressed up for a party.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

We missed last week because Marci and I were up at the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail with the videographer for the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards to gather footage for that awards banquet in May. Work is beginning on the new firewood shelter prototype and all will be in readiness for our National Trails Day event and work day. Are you planning to join us? Find out more and RSVP so we have tools and food for everyone, please.

Again, on a sad note, conservation lost a champion this past week with the passing of Karen Light. Karen, an active Audubon member and former leader in the Quittapahilla Audubon Society, was always happy to share her natural history knowledge with enthusiasts of all ages.

A member of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, she was one of the founding leaders of the Friends of Swatara State Park, a place that held a special place in her heart. Karen’s passion for our natural world will be missed by many.

PPFF and our friends at the Pennsylvania Recreation & Parks Society hosted a legislative breakfast this past Wednesday to talk about the importance of state parks and forests (and funding them). We were excited by the turnout and the conversations!

A clarity of vision takes two paths in this issue of Take Five: First, we are hoping for clear skies overnight Saturday into Sunday for visibility of the Lyrid meteor shower. Then, think "virtual reality" and the vision provided by virtual reality goggles recently used by a landscape architecture doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University. Researcher Payam Tabrizian wanted to test subjects' feeling of safety and serenity in a variety of treed settings. As Tabriazian says, using virtual reality will allow urban planners to test different designs and improvements to parks and greenspace without ever cutting or planting a tree.

Finally, celebrate J.T. Rothrock Memorial Conservation Week beginning on Sunday with a visit to your favorite state forest. It might well have been one of his as well! #RothrockWeek

Register Now - Walk May 19!

At work and play in the parks and forests


For your Earth Day consideration. My sincere apologies if I miss anyone!


It's Woodsy Owl Weekend at Parker Dam and Keep America Beautiful Spring Clean Up Day at Sinnemahoning. 


The Friends of Nockamixon will be at work on their section of Mountain View Drive into the park; find more with the Friends of Cowans Gap, and at Prince Gallitzin, Pine Grove Furnace (where you'll find Marci, Joe, and maybe Izzy), Codorus, Colonel Denning, and Kings Gap (where they'll have a Volunteer Open House on Sunday).


Easterners can help out with the Friends of Ridley Creek (and various Chester County partners) and the Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve, and at French Creek, Nolde Forest, Tuscarora, Jacobsburg, and Varden on Saturday; and with the park and the Friends of Beltzville on Sunday.


At Raccoon Creek they will have a clean up and a celebration; I'll be out at Laurel Hill for a little work and then a meeting of the Friends. The Laurel Mountain Volunteers will be picking up winter debris along Wharton Furnace Road in the Forbes State Forest.

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


Can we safely assume that cross-country ski season is over now? Hmmm. The webcam shot last Friday (on the left) and this morning (on the right) from the Pennsylvania Cross Country Skiers Association webcam on Laurel Ridge State Park.

Take five for trivia


My question last week was What is the only Pennsylvania state park to have a song named after it? And I got a LOT of answers, none of which I had as the "correct" one. I am going to send our ace researchers out to just make sure that our 125th anniversary trivia question (which says that the answer is Codorus and the Codorus State Park March) is correct. I knew this was a tough one, but it worries me when I stump everyone.

Maybe your brains were just as frozen as mine. So let's thaw out a bit with easier one about our friend J.T. Rothrock. Name two striking features of the forest that bears his name - our Forest of the Year by the way AND the focus (next meeting 4/24) of our next newest Friends group

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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