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

Good morning, and welcome to March! We are talking "in like a lion" for today with predicted high winds and still more rain and snow across the Commonwealth. My, oh my. Hang on to the little ones, as we don't need to have them going on any impromptu soaring adventures.

It was also a great day for ducks earlier in February when the masthead photo appeared on Caledonia State Park's Facebook page.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

Like the song says, "Ya gotta have friends." And we do! We got representatives of several eastern chapters together last weekend at Trexel Environmental Center in Lehigh County (with a William Penn State Forest satellite office) and will do the same for the westerners next weekend at Prince Gallitzin.

And the number of friends should be on the increase too. The first meeting of a potential Friends of Rothrock State Forest took place Monday night in State College with about 65 people on hand to hear what's involved with being a PPFF chapter and to begin to think about all the good things they could do for the Forest. The next meeting should take place sometime this month so please do keep an eye on Events.PAParksAndForests.org for the announcement.

Marci attended the legislative hearing for the next round of DCNR budgeting, so stay tuned for developments as this process unfolds.

The Photo Gallery Showcase of Winners has now departed the state capitol and will be on its way to Shawnee at the end of the month, commencing with an opening reception on March 29 - more details to follow on, you guessed it, Events.PAParksAndForests.org!

Drumroll please! It was a close call, but the winning name for the Bus Transportation Pilot Program is ... Wilderness Wheels! We can't wait to put the pilot into service and bring more people outside to enjoy the things you already know are special in Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. If you'd like to contribute and expand the program, consider our fund at http://bit.ly/PPFFBusScholarships

A recent article in Outside magazine pegged the contribution of outdoor recreation to the American economy at very nearly $374 BILLION, or 2% of GDP. And it's growing at 3.8% - a faster rate than the economy as a whole.

Granted, the figures take in outdoor recreation on a massive scale (and include expensive activities like motorized recreation) but the things we care about most (hiking, backpacking, bicycling, paddling, etc.) accounted for $10 billion. Those quiet forms of recreation still make a LOT of noise!

Register Now - Walk May 19!

At work and play in the parks and forests


Weather permitting, of course!


Should you find yourself with a day off on Monday, consider the Weekly Hiking Series with Hills Creek State Park where the group will tackle an 8.3 mile section of the Mid State Trail. Sounds like a great way to shake off the cobwebs; be sure to check the listing for meeting information.


"Spring into Action" at Kings Gap tomorrow with a volunteer day designed to get things spruced up for a busy season ahead. RSVP needed.


How confident are you with map and compass? Hone those skills with an Introduction to Orienteering at Nolde Forest tomorrow with the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association.


It's the first Saturday of another month and the Friends of Ohiopyle are on the trails tomorrow morning. Join in!

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


Eagles are certainly enjoying their time in the sun with sightings and webcams popular all across the state. But these two were not enjoying their time in the Susquehanna River! Thanks be to our friend Marcus Schneck of the Harrisburg Patriot-News/PennLive.com and his blog, Wild About PA for sharing the story.

Take five for trivia


We hope you were able to spend a minute or two with the good people who helped make the latest PPFF video, including Marci Mowery (our President, of course), Maria Montero (our board chair), Mike Mumau (Laurel Hill State Park manager). One alert reader wondered if you have to be "MM good" to be a PPFF volunteer or spokesperson. No, just ask Matt Haar (a Graffiti Buster), Andre Weltman (Friends of Pine Grove Furnace chair and volunteer extraordinaire), or Andy Mowen (PSU researcher and former board member). Whatever your initials, we'll take your talents and put them to good use!

Congratulations to our February trivia winner, Steve of Valencia.

For our first of March (and speaking of it coming in like a lion), the controversial decision to declare the eastern mountain lion extinct came in January. And while the controversy rages on whether people truly do still see them, where did the "last hope" for the species (killed in 2011 in Connecticut) actually originate?

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


Gather your friends and go for a gambol.

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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