Camp Hill, PA – The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF) is pleased to announce its 15th Annual Awards Banquet celebrating exceptional service and contributions to Pennsylvania state parks and forests. This year’s event will take place on May 14, 2024, at Little Buffalo State Park in Newport, PA.

The banquet will recognize individuals and programs that have demonstrated outstanding dedication to stewardship across 10 different categories. Attendees can expect to enjoy farm-to-table cuisine sourced from local markets and orchards from a local caterer. The event promises an evening of celebration and appreciation for the hard work and commitment of volunteers within Pennsylvania’s parks and forests.

Tickets for the event are priced at $50 per person. Sponsorship opportunities for awards, tables, and various aspects of the banquet are also available. Interested parties can find more information on sponsorship opportunities on PPFF’s website.

“We are thrilled to gather once again for our annual awards banquet and celebrate the dedication of our award winners to the preservation and enjoyment of Pennsylvania’s natural and cultural treasures,” said Marci Mowery, President of PPFF.

For more information, to become a sponsor, or to register for the event, please visit


Award Winners:

Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award: Pennsylvania Forestry Association
As the oldest state organization in the US dedicated to forest ecology, the PA Forestry Association has an unmatched commitment to stewardship, education, and sustainability.

Joe Ibberson Government Award: Wayne Kober
Wayne’s 35-year career in the Department of Transportation was influenced by the first Earth Day, guiding him to balance increasing transportation demands with environmental stewardship.

President’s Award: Purple Lizard Maps (PLM)
Purple Lizard Map’s commitment to detail and connecting people to the outdoors through their maps, along with their commitment to conservation, has earned the respect of many outdoor enthusiasts.

Chair Award: Barbara Barksdale
For Barbara Barksdale, a plan to just “clean it (Midland Cemetery) up a bit” turned into a life’s work of preservation, restoration and interpretation of African American historic cemeteries.

Park of the Year: Neshaminy State Park
This heavily used park requires a coordinated effort among park staff to keep smiles on visitor faces even when closures due to capacity are required.

Forest of the Year: William Penn Forest District
Located in the densely populated greater Philadelphia area, the William Penn Forest District manages a diverse array of tracts, including the Goat Hill Wild Plant Sanctuary, an ecologically significant area, along with the tidally influenced Little Tinicum Island in the Delaware, along with several undeveloped forested parcels.

Volunteerism (Individual): Margarita Caicedo
Margarita volunteers on a Spanish language, outdoor-focused radio programs, speaks at webinars and media appearances on the connections between the outdoors and health, and rarely turns down a request to attend an event to share her personal story of learning the value of being outdoors to her own life.

Volunteerism (Group): Lackawanna State Park Trail Care Crew (LSPRCC)
The 26 miles of existing trail (and adjoining lands of the Countryside Conservancy) are improved and restored through LSPTCC efforts with comprehensive long-term plans for expanding the system.

Improvement (Individual): Gary Kirk, Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve
Committed to the trails at the Preserve, Gary spends countless hours clearing downed trees, maintaining sapling fields, creating signage, erecting bridges, coordinating volunteers, and uncountable tasks of trail maintenance.

Improvement (Group): Friends of Michaux State Forest
The Friends of Michaux State Forest has formed an impressive array of partnerships and volunteer opportunities focused on the conservation of this heavily used forest.

Education (Individual): Mike Teeter
Mike and his family readily share their enthusiasm for state parks and forests as they traverse the state attending events on behalf of the Foundation.

Education (Group): French and Indian War Officer’s Corp
2024 marks the 20th year of the Cook Forest French & Indian War Encampment, with the Officer’s Corps being the event’s key coordinating group.

Young Volunteer: Hung Pham
A junior at Susquehanna Township High School, Hung is a founding member of the Hiking and the Environment club started in Spring 2022.


About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation

The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities, and donations through its 45+ chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. To learn more about PPFF, visit

Facebook:  @PennsylvaniaParksAndForestsFoundation
Twitter:  @PaPFF
Instagram: @paparksandforests
LinkedIn:  Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation

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