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

Amazing, right? Two weeks in a row of Take Five done and out. Had to write this early because as you read this Marci and I are in Pittsburgh following what we are confident will be a gala and wondrous evening with our fellow winners of a Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award from Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Of COURSE, it was your support and generosity - and enthusiastic endorsement of the restoration of the shelters along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail that made the award possible.

The celebration is NOT over - just before we packed it in on Wednesday we got word from REI-Pittsburgh that we have been awarded an additional $10,000 to complete the upgrades to the tenting sites in the shelter areas and an additional $5,000 from REI-Bedford to be used there also. As exciting, we received an additional $10,800 from REI-Bedford for work in Buchanan and Gallitzin state forests. We are so grateful!

As you may have read, the LHHT celebration will culminate on June 2 (National Trails Day) with a volunteer morning at the Route 653 Shelter Area near Normalville (Fayette County) and a rededication that afternoon. This is the final final call to join us that day - it will be a lot of fun and you will meet some terrific people so sign up right away if you would like to attend.

This week's masthead comes from the North Jersey affiliate of USA Today and is perfect to honor National Bike Month and Valley Forge. Valley Forge was, after all, our first state park before we so generously turned it over to the National Park Service for the benefit of all Americans.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

This entire week has been a celebration in truth, beginning on Tuesday with the formal announcement of May 23 through 30 as Pennsylvania State Park and Forest Week by proclamation of the Governor. The House and Senate followed with their own resolutions in support of the state parks and forests system and, in short, you have cause to be glad for our wonderful public lands.

If your representative or senator is among those listed as sponsoring the resolutions, please give their office a call or drop an email to them and thank them for this important support.

Images and the remarks made by Senators Lisa Baker and Judith Schwank and Representative Mark Longietti (a PPFF board member), who helped make the day possible, can be found on the 125th Anniversary page of our website. Thanks too to Representative Kate Harper, who showed once again why she was chosen the 2018 Joseph Ibberson Government Award winner! Check out the video of her remarks from the day.

As we celebrate the Memorial Day holiday and the unofficial start to another summer (with National Trails Day to follow next Saturday), here's hoping you might find a little time to give back to them for the joy they bring. The 125th Anniversary page of the website (clickable right from the home page) includes some ways to celebrate even if you don't attend a formal event; they include giving 125 hours in volunteer support to your nearby park or forest. We'll all be the better for it!

Speaking of events and clicking, we've added a category to our Events calendar for 125th Anniversary events and as more and more are scheduled by our chapters, the parks and forests themselves, and PPFF you'll be able to find them easily. If you have suggestions for places and events to include, please let me know.

And as you go out to take advantage of the week, post your images using #ParksForests125 #PAParksForests.

At work and play in the parks and forests


As noted above, it's Memorial Day weekend and you know that means a busy park and forest system. Listed here are barely a sample of all the fun to be had. And wait? What is that in the forecast? A warm and mostly dry Pennsylvania!


Celebrate the day on Monday with a Memorial Day Hike at Sizerville State Park beginning at 1:00 PM.


The Friends of Prince Gallitzin are justifiably proud of their annual Memorial Day salute to veterans. Saturday morning is the time; the Crooked Run campground amphitheater is the place. 


The Life of a Union Soldier takes center stage at Frances Slocum State Park on Saturday evening. 


Memorial Day and eagles seem to go together quite well. Here's hoping you catch a glimpse of one on Monday with Eagle Watching on the Lake at Keystone State Park. 

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


An appropriate tribute to addition of the Friends of Worlds End - the Loyalsock Trail through Worlds End State Park. Surely one of Pennsylvania's great footpaths!

Take five for trivia


Happy to know there are Edgar Allan Poe fans out there who knew that "The Raven" was inspired (according to local legend) by a visit to Trough Creek State Park. Amazing to think that his catching a glimpse of a couple of plain old crows might have inspired a literary masterpiece.

Because May was truncated by travel, I think we'll combine May and June trivia for our next prize drawing. I missed John Muir's birthday (April 21) but have a copy of "Muir Among the Animals," a compilation donated by a friend that will make a nice May/June combination prize.

So for your next chance at winning a copy, pay a visit to the Governor's proclamation of this special week and tell me two of the benefits citizens of the Commonwealth derive from their state parks and forests. For extra credit, go out and reap those benefits!

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.

Quasquicentennial happenings


Wrap Up State Park and Forest Week with a visit to the Photo Gallery Showcase of Winners from 2017.

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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