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

Look at that lovely masthead. Snow at the Sugarloaf Sledding Area and below freezing temperatures forecast all week. Ohiopyle's WinterFest tomorrow is on.

May your days be merry and bright and all your Februaries be white!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note


And ... we're live!

The registration page for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community that is. May 20 is the day and we are ready ... to form teams, gratefully accept donations and sponsors, and generally get ready for a great time. And even if you can't be in Harrisburg on May 20, you can still form a team and participate. I'm going to pull together my friends (be warned, gals) and do a "remote 5k" locally with our donations and enthusiasm going into the PPFF coffers.

And speaking of live, the video and poster contest winners in our anti-graffiti stewardship competition are posted to the website. Huge congratulations and thanks to our winners - and to everyone who entered. The fact that so many young people "got the message" gives us hope that they can persuade their friends that painting on and carving into our jointly owned treasures is wrong.

The posters will be on display along with the winners in last year's Parks & Forests Through the Seasons photo contest beginning this weekend at the State Capitol. They'll be there all month so please do stop in and see them as you come to the Capitol to visit your local representative or senator and express your devotion to the state parks and forests!

See this little birdie? He's just darned adorable and will be one of the prizes at our silent auction for the banquet this year. He's the creation of Victor's Art Beats, to whom we send big thanks for the donation. All proceeds of the auction support our work to remove barriers to participating in outdoor recreation. If you have something you would like to donate, contact Beth at the office. She's the Queen of the Silent Auction!

Do you know a sophomore to senior high school student who might be interested in a career in the outdoors? DCNR's annual ECO (Exploring Careers Outdoors) Camp is now accepting applications (through April 15) for 20 students to participate in the 16th annual residential program that begins in July.

Last, but certainly not least, we are pleased to note that we have been awarded a $7,500 challenge grant from the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, to match any new money we receive during calendar year 2017. Much like your local public radio or television station might announce a match for your donation during pledge drive weeks, this challenge grant speaks specifically to new donors or an increased contribution over what you may have given in the past. These extra funds will not only conserve our parks and forests for future generations, they will help us connect students to the outdoors by providing scholarships for bus travel for school and community groups. So thank you in advance for thinking kindly of us in 2017!

At work and play in the parks and forests


I see a few photos from the parks and forests with white stuff. A great weekend for winter fun all across the commonwealth then!


Learn to cross country ski at Parker Dam on Saturday or Sunday. You will have a lifetime hobby as a result!


A family friendly hike through flying squirrel habitat awaits you on Sunday at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center.


Nescopeck State Park hosts its WinterFest 2017 tomorrow. East and west, winter is best enjoyed outside!


As I said, Winterfest at Ohiopyle is a go tomorrow. And so is Winterfest 2017 at Moraine!

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


There's just nothing like being the first person to walk through freshly fallen snow, as Eric Gaston found out this week at Black Moshannon. Check out this photo, and the others from Eric's journey on a frosty January morning.

Take five for trivia


Some of your clever folks figured it out! Last week's question was our clever ruse to send you to our website. We DO hope you learned a little something while you were there, and are inspired to take action through one of the ways we suggest you might Get Involved in our state parks and forests.

Congratulations to our January winner, Ben of York, who will receive a valuable prize in the next few days. We know it won't be a copy of the Pennsylvania State Parks & State Forests Passport because Ben has already used his to visit all of Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. You'll see him immortalized on the website page devoted to those we know have accomplished this task. If we've missed you in this pantheon of adventurers, please be in touch!

For the first question in February (Heart Health Month) correctly identify two ways spending time outdoors can improve your heart's health.

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


With all due credit to photographer Autumn and the good people at Prince Gallitzin State Park for the original Facebook post. I lifted it. Shamelessly!

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 is a Gold GuideStar Participant.


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