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

I will be brief this week as you are, I am SURE, planning to concentrate today on the choice to #OptOutside. Check out REI President and CEO Jerry Stritze's thoughts on why it's important to not only express the gratitude suggested by Thanksgiving Day but to invest time in the healing power of the outdoors.

Calendar listings for First Day Hikes on January 1 have been rolling in steadily over the last couple of weeks so in that spirit and the idea of your opting outside, this photo from Raccoon Creek seemed particularly appropriate for the masthead. I have a few more hikes to log; be sure and keep an eye on the calendar for this ever-growing event!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


Last week we included a photo from the first group to enjoy a Wilderness Wheels scholarship; this week comes the program's new logo. If you're a Harrisburg area school or senior organization, Big Brothers/Big Sisters project, or other community group that would benefit from not having to worry about the cost of transportation to a state park educational program, visit the website and apply for funding. Your support of the program both financially and in spreading its success will contribute to our ability to continue and, we hope, expand it.

Speaking of scholarships, Appalachian Audubon is once again offering three full scholarships for teens age 14 through 17 to attend a six-day, five-night intensive on Hog Island, Maine. If your teen is a determined birder or biologist, this is an unbeatable opportunity. Words can't say how I wish I could have done this! Find out more about the Hog Island program and other environmental education opportunities on the AAS website under "Education."

At work and play in the parks and forests


Most official programs are taking the weekend off this week so our hard-working park and forest staff can enjoy some time of their own with family and friends.

But your parks and forests are OPEN and waiting for your visit anyway. Enjoy!

Picture of the week


Lovely shot from Hills Creek. Rescue me!

Take five for trivia


Among the things for which we are grateful is the support we received in the ExtraGive last Friday. You gave $7,150 to support the great things and places we all love. And, yes, a $50 donation supports one student's transportation costs for Wilderness Wheels.

This week's trivia has to be about the star of the Thanksgiving table - the bird. There's only one state where they don't live in the wild. What is it?

All correct answers each week go into the hiking boot for a random drawing at the end of the month for something from the PPFF Prize Closet - be it a bandana, a book, or some other special goodie. Send your answer to my email address and we'll take it from there. One entry per person per week!

In closing

Thank you for all you do! Visit our website on Tuesday for a small token of our great esteem. 

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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