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

And so Labor Day weekend is upon us. I know of a few people who are happy to see summer come to an end (Big Pocono John, I'm looking at you.) John keeps sharing pictures of things like the first snow in Jackson Hole. He is what you call a devoted ski type person. Or Abominable Snowman; you choose!

Many of our little ones have gone back to school already (I can tell from the number of First Day of School photos on my Book of Faces feed) so be careful out there near big buses and little walkers. Here's hoping you get one last beach weekend in - perhaps at Laurel Hill State Park, scene of the masthead this week.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

Our 2017 Photo Gallery Showcase of Winners is on display at Parker Dam State Park (another place for a nice swim) and will be on site throughout September. Your entries for next year's contest must be submitted before THIS COMING WEDNESDAY.

Friend Wendy (who has a very special birthday this VERY day), shared a lovely brochure from our pilot Gateway Community, Westmoreland County's Ligonier. If you have ever visited Ligonier, you know that the Diamond in the center of town with its copper-roofed bandstand and beautiful trees is quite literally the town's sparkling gem. So when news came out that those trees were coming down and the Diamond "reconfigured," you couldn't be blamed for fearing the worst for the future. But truly plans are in place to make sure what is to come is every bit as beautiful as what came before; and the plans are being executed. Read along with the progress and make plans to visit Ligonier and the beautiful public lands at Forbes State Forest and Linn Run, Kooser and the Laurels (Laurel Hill, Laurel Mountain, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Summit) so nearby.

Midnight tonight is your last chance to take advantage of our annual "Buy 12, Get Three (Months) Free" membership drive.

At work and play in the parks and forests


It promises to be a busy weekend in our parks and forests with some major events and big fun, so let's all practicing taking a deep breath and directing a smile to our neighbors. After all, we're outside! 


Most of you know that the Loyalsock Creek has been something less than peaceful the last few weeks but it's calm now and you can be too with Yoga Along the Loyalsock on Sunday afternoon. Stretch. Breathe. Thank the creek for respecting its own  boundaries once more. 

Quiet contemplation is also the order of the day at this month's open house at the mansion with the Friends of Nolde Forest. The program for the open house is Nature Journaling. Enjoy!


Music IN the Mountains makes Ohiopyle sing (and eat and craft) on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6:00. Come out and say hello to FOO (the Friends of Ohiopyle). 

Try your feet at mountain biking with a Mountain Biking Basics on Saturday morning with Forbes State Forest. Registration required


The Friends of Lyman Run offer another kayak tour on Saturday evening. You must pre-register; do so right away. There is a small $5 fee.

Meanwhile, it's Woodhick Weekend at Parker Dam with games and competitions Saturday and Sunday. 


Are you a skilled camper? Put those skills to the test at the Cowans Gap Camp Challenge on Saturday afternoon. There is a small $5 fee and pre-registration is appreciated. 

Sunday evening is the last Music ON the Mountain at Kings Gap with Celtic airs in the evening air. 

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


Board member Brian Kavalukas spent the afternoon with the Friends of Cook Forest last week helping to refresh the interpretive trail at Cook Forest - and seeing first hand this summer's blow downs of beloved big trees. As Brian said, "Impressive and kinda sad all at once."

Quasquicentennial Happenings


Those near R.B. Winter are in a perfect place to take advantage of this evening's presentation at 6:00 on Roosevelt's Tree Army at Halfway Dam - the story of the CCC Boys who built R.B. Winter.

Musician Van Wagner's special anniversary presentation rolls into Laurel Hill State Park on Saturday evening and to Ohiopyle on Sunday afternoon.

We've asked the trivia question time and time again - our first state park was ... Valley Forge State (now National Historical) Park. This summer (and I don't know how we haven't noticed this previously), Valley Forge has been offering a '78 Mile Challenge, with a nod to 1778, the year of Washington's Army's winter encampment.

You have until October 31 to walk, run, bike, or paddle 78 miles in the park for prizes and special recognition.

Go ahead and sign up. You can still do it!

Take five for trivia


To answer last week's hardly "trivial" question, projects at Ricketts Glen, Mount Pisgah, Jacobsburg state parks and Michaux State Forest have all benefitted from the existence of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

To close out August, what state first officially recognized the Labor Day holiday?

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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