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FOR TWENTY YEARS
Our Mission: Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Blooming Mountain Laurel
Bald Eagle State Forest
Today is an interesting anniversary in the history of the United States - Juneteenth. June 19, 1865 was the date when word of the proclamation reached far-away Texas, the last place in the Confederacy to get the news of Lee's surrender in April and the fact of the proclamation way back in January 1863. Delivered by Union General Gordon Granger and his troops, the news was greeted with a mixture of jubilation and stunned silence. Hard as it is to imagine in these days of instantaneous communication that any news would take two and a half years to get from Washington, DC to Texas.
The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation stands with the black community on Juneteenth and every day. There is still a lot of work to be done to dismantle systemic racism in our society. State parks and forests continue to be free spaces of equality where all are welcome.
The masthead photo again this week is a first glimpse of what will be a wonderfully joyous sight across the state in the weeks ahead. Enjoy the mountain laurel, our state flower, while it's in bloom in your favorite place!
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
News of Note
The Graffiti Busters were back on the job this week, this time at Hyner View State Park where, believe it or not, a couple thought tagging the CCC-built retaining wall would be a fun way to spend an afternoon. They tagged themselves on Instagram as well. Graffiti is considered vandalism and is against the law in Pennsylvania. Busted. Just like the graffiti.
Thank you, volunteers, as well as the Renovo Volunteer Fire Company who provided the final rinse.
Here's a picture sure to make you say, "Awwww." It's turtle time in the outdoors. They are moving so please try to keep an eye out for them. (Images shared by Prince Gallitzin State Park on their Facebook page.)
National Trails Month History Moment
Says the director, Peter Huston, of a documentary about her, “Everyone who hikes the [Appalachian] [T]rail sooner or later becomes aware of the grandma who hiked.”
That "grandma" is Emma Gatewood, who (at the age of 67) became the first woman to hike the entirety of the trail. "Unsupported" barely covers the manner in which Grandma Gatewood undertook her adventure in 1955 traveling as she did with a blanket and plastic shower curtain for her shelter, in Keds and bermuda shorts.
Emma's walk along Pennsylvania's 230-mile share of the trail went much as many thru-hikers does even today. Foot-sore from the sharp rocks for which our part of the trail is known. Provisions obtained at Pine Grove Furnace. Views of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (newly-built when she came upon it). Kind strangers offering food, shelter, encouragement.
Click each photo to see the original. Thanks to all the photographers and state park and forest fans who share their joy in these wonderful places. Share yours anywhere with #PPFFTakeFive.
Gregory Allen Kear's shots from Nockamixon State Park are always a treat and this, Racing the Sunset, is no exception.
From the Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve, could we say this one was "caught by surprise?"
Fish is our picture jigsaw of the week; give a click and give it a go.
Atmospheric sky shots tickle my fancy. Thanks, Jeff Beck (not THAT one, I don't think) for this shot from an end of May backpacking trip through Pinchot State Forest. In truth, it's a nice vertical so definitely give it a click!
Thanks to Oil Creek State Park for this atmospheric sky shot with a different foreground element - oil derricks against a blue summer sky.
At Work and Play in the Parks and Forests
I do apologize; I had intended to get back to sharing events this week in both the immediate and more far-off future but it was a kind of chaotic week here in Confluence and I just haven't had time to get my feet under properly.
There ARE events on the DCNR Calendar of Events now so give it a visit and see what's coming and I'll do my best to return to a distillation of upcoming fun next week!
Take Five for Trivia
I did fool no one with last week's trivia - but then that wasn't the idea! "Universal design" is in fact "the design of buildings, products, or an environment to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors." And that's not trivial in any way!
As we continue to look at National Trails Month, name five of the 13 official state forest hiking trails.
Send your answer to me and I'll enter you into the month's random drawing for a goodie from the prize closet if you answer correctly. Enter each week for more chances to win.
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.