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

We have another gorgeous night sky photo for our masthead again this week - this one from Curt Weinhold at Cherry Springs State Park. You'll recall that Curt frequently offers a night photography class at CSSP. In fact he notes on the post that accompanies this shot that the next one is April 13 with registration open 45 days ahead. Could he make US this skilled with a camera? Hmmmm. 

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

For Philadelphia, the victories keep piling up. Wissahickon Park's Forbidden Drive was named the 2018 Trail of the Year on Valentine's Day. A little love to the Friends of the Wissahickon, please!

Are you a happy camper? Maybe you need one of our stickers to show the world that fact! Your choice of a tent or trailer comes with your new (or renewed) PPFF membership for our special 125th anniversary of state parks and forests membership promotion. Check them out and sign up at http://bit.ly/125years125voices

Have you taken our advice yet and clicked into the Bureau of Forestry's "Forest Fridays" columns on Facebook? I hope so because the last couple of weeks have been such fun with topics as diverse as Valentine's Day and bourbon. All with a forestry bent, of course! If you use Facebook, you really ought to follow Forestry's page; and even if you aren't a Facebook user it's a public page so you can access it (and State Parks' as well) for all kinds of up to date and fun stuff.

Most of us think DCNR when we think of outdoor recreation and state government but the Department of Transportation gets a nod as well with their increasing and increasingly welcome focus on pedestrians and biking. Bill and I actually met many moons ago at a meeting of the Department's Pedalcycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. PPAC was instrumental in pulling together those bicycle routes you see on signs as you drive across Pennsylvania. Priorities like these are part of the Department's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the update of which is now underway. Much like the planning survey we asked you to take as DCNR works through its state parks planning process, we encourage you to visit the website, take PennDOT's survey, and participate in any webinars or public meetings that make take place as the process unfolds. Biking and walking in our state parks and forests is a wonderful thing but they are daily activities of life as well in healthy communities.

Speaking of walking and healthy communities, note the Highmark Walk for same below!

And speaking of increased transportation and recreation links, the ribbon was cut this week on a new 33-mile snowmobile trail linking Prince Gallitzin and Black Moshannon state parks. The hard work of the Glendale Lake Snowmobile Club saw the project through from concept to completion.

At work and play in the parks and forests


It is definitely February. Freeze? Thaw? Rain? Snow?


One of the annual events with cool names, Cook Forest's Snowman in the Forest Day is tomorrow and while the Cook Forest Vacation Bureau notes there will be no snow there will be fun!


At Prince Gallitzin, they'll celebrate Family Science Sunday with an emphasis on birds. Makes sense since this entire weekend is Audubon's Great Backyard Bird Count for 2018. What do you see out your window?


Who doesn't love a birthday party? Come out to Washington Crossing Historic Park on Sunday and celebrate with George Washington for his 286th. The guy is so cool he cuts his cake with a sword.


The Friends of Laurel Hill invite you to Winter Weekend Day tomorrow at Scenic View at Laurel Hill. Check that link for the full schedule of fun and note that while the DCNR Calendar promotes an entire weekend festival the lack of snow has officially compressed the event to one day. 

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


No, this is not the start of an offbeat Olympic event; it is the new fleet of kayaks for Bendigo and Elk State Parks we were able to place into service through the generous support of a grant from the Stackpole-Hall Foundation of St. Marys, PA. The kayaks will be used for water-based programming at the parks and will be available for public use as well.

Take five for trivia


Last week's trivia answer is twice correct. Nescopeck State Park does indeed get its name from the neighboring Nescopeck Creek; take that one step further and note that both use the Lenape word for "black" or "dirty" water. Thanks to Timothy for this comprehensive paragraph answer:

Historically, two tribes of Native Americans known as the Fork Indians and the Delaware Indians lived near the mouth of Nescopeck Creek. Nescopeck Creek's name comes from a Lenape word meaning "deep black waters". Other parts of the Nescopeck Creek watershed were settled by Lenni Lenape Indians. The Lenni Lenape inhabited the Nescopeck Creek watershed a thousand years before European settlers. There is no definitive record of permanent settlements in the interior of Nescopeck Creek's watershed, but temporary Native American settlements existed in what is now Nescopeck State Park. By the 1700s, the Lenni Lenape had left the Nescopeck Creek watershed due to encroaching Iroquois and European settlers.

I have to admit I like that "deep black waters" connotation better than "dirty," although many trivia players speculated that the "dirty" might have had something to do with the coal seams the creek runs through.

For this week, given that is Great Backyard Bird Count weekend, let's play GBBC trivia. According to the counting rules, how much time MUST you devote to this activity?

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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