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

We end the week with a welcome bit of warmth here in the Laurel Highlands after a return of a cold spell. Hope your Earth Day was as muddy and entertaining as mine - we had a lovely day in the rain at Laurel Hill State Park moving some tires and the remnants of an old, long ago maple sugaring operation. It was all worth it for a hearty Somerset County lunch just like Grandma would have made thanks to Becky and Skip and all the LHSP crew.

So the memory and warm feeling of Earth Day lingers on - and you have a few more days to join PPFF through our Earth Day membership drive and keep the warmth going. As a reminder, you could win a PPFF water bottle and bandana for becoming one of our 47 new (for 47 years of Earth Day) members during April.

SPEAKING of deadlines, close of business TODAY is IT for joining us at the 11th annual awards banquet on May 10.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


We are so excited! Assuming responsibility for assembling the annual Pennsylvania State Parks wall calendar was an honor we were proud to accept. There was a flurry of excitement as we asked one of our crack volunteers to look over the calendars from past years and determine which parks had yet to be featured and then set about to find photographs of 12 of them. And now here they are!

The calendar includes one combination page for September through December of 2017 and then a two-page spread of photograph and calendar block for each of the 12 months of 2018. Hang it on the wall and dream of the places you'll go. The photographs are all lovely and we'd like to thank once again our photographers for their generous contribution of a picture for each month: Crystal Hunt, Ted Massa, Tom McCorkle, our own Marci, Bernadette Chiaramonte-Brown, Clare Kaczmarek, Greg Kear, Brian Hare, Stephen Fatzinger, Dot Monahan, Xiawei Zhang, Larry Laird, and Carole Mebus all gave of their considerable talents to make the lovely finished product a reality.

So now is your chance to get one of your very own. Visit our online store and place your order today!

Of course, we all love our state parks and forests and a surefire way to demonstrate that love is to support their funding when budget time rolls around. Again. In that vein, a Keep PA Growing Greener Day at the Capitol is scheduled for May 9 beginning with a rally on the Capitol steps at 10:00 AM (rain or shine). A day of legislative visits follows, ending with a reception in the Main Capitol Rotunda at 5:00 PM. For those of you who just got here, Growing Greener and its predecessor Key 93 was a series of funding measures designed to get money into outdoor spaces like our state and local parks and indoor spaces like museums and libraries. A proposed Growing Greener III plan will keep this funding in place for the sustainable future of our open space and local communities. Lots of information on the project can be found at the PA Growing Greener website. Your support throughout the budget process is appreciated - but especially on Capitol Day. If you can attend the rally, that's great. If you can visit and speak with your state representative and senator very briefly to express your support for your state parks, even BETTER. Please drop me an email if you can attend. Children and families definitely welcome as the young ones are the future of our parks and forests!

We'll have suggested talking points available on budget priorities so keep an eye on the News page of our website for those. 

Coming up next week, Prez Marci will be on the road in Pittsburgh - first for a presentation to the Gibsonia chapter of AARP at their monthly meeting on Tuesday at 1:15. The meeting is at the Hampton United Presbyterian Church. Then at 7:00 Wednesday evening, she'll be at the REI South Side store to talk about ... what else? Pennsylvania's state parks and forests! Stop in and say hello!

Have you giving geocaching a try yet? Thanks to Friends of Prince Gallitzin members Lynn and Rosemary Haselhoff and educator Beth, the park now boasts two adventures to whet your appetite. Visit the Friends website for details.

At work and play in the parks and forests


Winding down the 4th Month.


At Sinnemahoning State Park, they're hosting a Herp Hoedown tomorrow. I wonder if they will really do a Virginia Reel? There's no cost to attend but I'd pay to see that!


Do you do windows? Then there's the perfect job for you at the Little Buffalo Spring Volunteer Day. One of the jobs on tap is the windows of the mill - but even if you don't do windows, there'll be something you can handle. Meanwhile, just slightly farther south, the Friends of Buchanan State Forest will be out tomorrow for a work detail on their ever-growing trail network. 


While we're on the subject of Spring clean-ups, the easterners can gather at Nescopeck and Spring Into Action!


The swooping and diving of the purple martin is something to see and a Saturday program at Pymatuning State Park will introduce you to the requirements for attracting these birds to your habitat.

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


The masthead this week was shared to the Pennsylvania State Parks' Facebook page by Bill Vargo who proclaimed it a beautiful morning at Chapman State Park. Indeed it must have been.

This additional photograph by Bill that same day definitely calls for a "cowabunga, dude!"

Spotlight on the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community


We are getting so close to Walk Day and we are still only 1/4 of the way toward achieving our fundraising goal. NOT to mention that we want to have the biggest TEAM at the Walk site. We need you!

Time is ticking away! Sign up already!

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is one of 48 Harrisburg area health and community service organizations whose participation in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is being underwritten by Highmark Blue Shield. Support our efforts and 100% of your donation is retained by PPFF for our work to make Pennsylvania's state parks and forests havens for good health.

Take five for trivia


When last we met, we were listening patiently for the trill of the Louisiana water thrush and being careful not to confuse him with the very similar Northern water thrush. You must get pretty close or have a good pair of binoculars to make a determination of difference - the Northern (according to Cornell's ornithology lab): "usually has stripes on throat, a slightly smaller bill, a thinner and off-white or cream eyestripe that does not extend as far onto the nape, less pink legs, and a more yellowish wash on the underparts."

I don't care what anyone says, birding is hard work.

So let us close out April with a simple question: WAS it named for Johnny Appleseed?

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


Read the report.

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 is a Gold GuideStar Participant.


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