Our mission: To inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.
Greetings, good people!
Welcome to the last Take Five/Fridays with Pam for a few weeks. Bill and I are off on a cross-country train odyssey beginning on Monday and will not be back until 10/22. The trip is a long time in the planning and it's hard to believe that it is actually about to happen. We are going to try to blog a bit about it so anyone who would like to follow along is welcome to visit the website for Bill's upcoming ("a week late for three years now") guidebook to the Great Allegheny Passage.
Marci is likewise heading to Oregon next week for the annual meeting of state park foundations. We were fortunate enough to host this group in Pennsylvania last year at this time. There is much good word being done from coast to coast so she'll come back with great ideas!
Fear not, however. Outreach Coordinator Amanda and Intern Casey are going to join forces over the next three weeks to bring you up to the minute news and good thoughts from PPFF and the state parks and forests. Have fun out there and I will talk to you soon.
News of note
We did get started a little late with voting for this year's photo contest. But you have the weekend to cast your ballot. The critics' choice winners will be featured as mastheads while I am gone, including this week - Best in Show winner Bruce Walkovich taken at the Susquehannock State Forest.
To vote, visit the gallery in each category and like your favorite. You need NOT be a registered Facebook user to participate - and we know it's hard to pick but please vote only once in each category.
You know you love them - and now they're back for a limited time. Those Get Out ... Side shirts showcasing all the facts and figures that make the Pennsylvania state parks and forests special and show off your PPFF pride. With a variety of sizes, styles, colors (including this bright red version for the youngsters in your life) you are sure to find a little something for everyone. Get on over to Bonfire Funds and place your order now. They'll only be around for a few weeks.
Tomorrow you might take a minute to salute Horace McFarland on the occasion of his 159th birthday. You'll find a bit about Mr. McFarland on the Pennsylvania's Conservation Heritage website. All of us who love public lands - be they local, statewide, or national - owe a debt to him and the City Beautiful and American Civic Association movements.
And speaking of birthdays, a birthday salute on October 3 to Otto Emery Jennings (for whom western Pennsylvania's Jennings Environmental Education Center was named). Jennings has been called western Pennsylvania's best loved botanist and I still harbor a tiny hope that one day I will wander into a used book store and stumble upon a copy of his collaboration with Andrey Avinoff, Wildflowers of Western Pennsylvania and the Upper Ohio Basin. Frankly, I haven't been able to figure out why it hasn't been reprinted.
At work and play in the parks and forests
This column will take a hiatus while I am away so be sure and bookmark our events calendar and DCNR's so you don't miss a thing even without our reminders! October 7 is a big day. Be on the lookout for Walk in Penn's Woods, the Friends of Prince Gallitzin's Apple Cider Fest and Garden Harvest Day with the Friends of Kings Gap. The Little Buffalo Festival is Saturday the 6th; Pymatuning's Spooktacular is that entire weekend (and the next).
The second weekend look for Cranberry Festival with the Friends of Black Moshannon and Fall Festival and Pumpkin Float at Parker Dam.
And do NOT forget there's the Friends of Lyman Run's kid-friendly Spooktacular on Friday night the 19th, Fall Furnace Fest on the 20th and 21st with the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace and Pinchotween the same Saturday (and close enough to visit both).
Meanwhile, this weekend ...
Celebrate Bike Your Park Day with a ride on the Lehigh Gorge Trail. Registration required.
National Public Lands Day volunteer opportunities continue at Jennings Environmental Center, Ohiopyle State Park, and in Forbes State Forest with the Laurel Mountain Volunteer Group.
It is quiet up north this weekend (probably snowing already) so let's put Sunday's Rothrock Trail Fest in the North region! Be ye a hiker, biker, equestrian, volunteer, skier, or trail enthusiast in general, the Friends of Rothrock State Forest have put together a celebration of all things Rothrock.
National Public Lands Day opportunities also continue on Saturday with the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace. And a picnic!
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
One of the more fascinating instances of citizen science to come along is the tagging of monarch butterflies to track their migration to Mexico. The very thought that these seemingly fragile creatures make this hazardous journey year after year is astounding enough; consider in addition that it is not the "same butterfly" making each trip. Rather, the butterfly who goes south in the fall is the great grand child of the butterfly who did it the previous year! Doesn't that make you want to do whatever you can to help the species survive?
Thankfully, more and more people are doing that - with the planting of milkweed in the butterflies' summer homes and at registered way stations along the migration routes. Visit MonarchWatch.org for additional information on taking part - and say a big thank you to our newest (to my knowledge) tagging program in Pennsylvania's state parks. Educator Jean Keene at Keystone State Park spent a portion of her summer collecting monarch eggs, feeding them, and then on Wednesday the 19th tagging and releasing her charges for their trip.
More photos from Tagging Day can be found on the Friends of Keystone's Facebook page with more information to come on their website. Thanks to the Friends for supporting Jean's program financially - just another of the great and unique ways volunteers are supporting your state parks and forests.
Take five for trivia
Trivia will also go into radio silence during my absence so you can take your thinking caps off for now and put on your fall festival wear.
However, last week we did ask what was expected to take place at 9:54 PM that Saturday night and to no one's surprise - especially not mine - everyone knew that was when Fall began. It's an incredibly popular season, it seems, as many many people claimed it as their favorite.
That gave us three questions for September and, well, that's good enough for a prize drawing! Congratulations to Robert L., our September winner.
I'm betting that Robert - and many of you - know that DCNR's annual Fall Foliage Reports are activated as of yesterday and ready for your leaf-peeping pleasure. Here's to vivid colors!
Enjoy your October and we will pick up the game again come November.
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.
Parks & Forests Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar Participant.
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