Get creative and join in the fun!
Learn about the importance of Clean Water and Forested Ecosystems and help to spread the word with DIY paint-by-numbers!
Thanks to artist Melodie Schwarz-Higgins, we will be presenting a monthly series of paint-by-numbers based on this theme. These do-it-yourself paintings are appropriate for all skill levels and can be downloaded and printed to make a work of art right in your own home. Simply click on your preferred image below for a downloadable paint-by-number sheet and accompanying color key.
We invite you to take a photo of your painting once it’s complete. Share it on social media and tag us to help spread the word about the importance of clean water through these monthly messages!
King of the North
September in the PA Wilds is probably best represented by the elk who call the northern tier home. Enjoy Melodie's depiction of this Bruce Walkovich family portrait until you have a chance to see Pennsylvania's elk herd first hand. It's worth a visit!
Strolling to the Beach
For many people, any day is a perfect beach day. In August we celebrate World Beach Day specifically. So stroll with us to the beach at Beltzville State Park with artist Melodie's husband and Irish wolfhound "puppy." We feel warm and relaxed already!
Tobyhanna Sunset - Capture It!
This month's design salutes two July featured celebrations - lakes and sunsets. July is Lake Appreciation Month and the week of the 17th through the 23rd is "Capture the Sunset Week." Inspired by a photograph by Barbara Lewis, Tobyhanna State Park is the setting. Capture it!
National Bald Eagle Day
When you're the symbol of the country - and have battled back from being critically endangered - the least that you deserve is a special designated day. That's June 20, National (or American) Bald Eagle Day. Celebrate with Melodie's latest creation, based on Sue Radel's photograph from Black Moshannon State Park.
Take it to the Lake
As May arrives (and with it Kids to Parks Day on May 21), thoughts begin to turn to recreation on the water. A clean, forested stream or lake (like this one at Kettle Creek State Park as photographed by Scott Hafer) is the perfect setting for a leisurely paddle. After all, who wants to launch a canoe or kayak into (or swim or fish or even look at) a body of water that's polluted and unsafe? The good folks of the US Geologic Survey say, "People also rely on water for the joy it brings. Water gives adventurers, wanderers, and lovers of nature a place to play, visit, and appreciate." We couldn't agree more!
Fish Grow on Trees
Pennsylvania is known to have some of the best trout fishing in the world and the long-anticipated opening of trout season for 2022 has arrived! As anglers know, essential to all stages of a trout’s lifecycle is cold, clear, clean water. Just as important as the water itself are trees along a trout stream. Trees along waterways help to prevent erosion of the streambank, reducing the amount of sediment from entering the water. They also shade and cool the water. Keeping water temperatures low helps to maintain the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water that trout need to breathe. Also, the branches and leaf litter that fall from them provide habitat, not just for the fish themselves but also for their food source of macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are insects that spend all or at least part of their lives in the water. They too need dissolved oxygen and they rely on leaf litter as their food source. So the saying goes, fish grow on trees! Learn more about trout fishing in PA at: https://www.fishandboat.com
Healthy Forests and Clean Water
March brings with it the moment we've all been waiting for - the first day of spring - but also the recognition of International Day of Forests (March 21) and World Water Day (March 22). Both of these celebrations within the same week serve as a good reminder that healthy forests go hand in hand with clean water. This painting, based on a photo taken by Laura Longwell at Ridley Creek State Park, has all of the elements to remind us of the interconnectedness of forests and water. A few of the ways in which forests help ensure clean water is that they.... Reduce the impact of stormwater by slowing and absorbing water. Regulate the water cycle; precipitation, evaporation and water flow. Prevent pollution from entering our waterways. Want to know more? Check out these resources: PennState Extension: https://extension.psu.edu/the-role-of-trees-and-forests-in-healthy-watersheds Center for Watershed Protection: https://www.cwp.org/
Great Blue Heron Spots Lunch
February brought with it World Wetlands Day and the annual Great Backyard Bird Count so it seemed only fitting that this month's paint-by-number feature a wading Great Blue Heron. Herons are symbolic of the interconnectedness of water quality and forests as they nest in large colonies in trees along the waterways which they rely on for foraging fish, frogs and other small animals. This painting was created from a photo by Denise Guthery taken at Maurice K. Goddard State Park.
MAKE EARTH DAY EVERY DAY!
Take advantage of one of the easiest and most convenient ways to support PPFF. You can make a gift to the Foundation by payroll contribution through EarthShare’s workplace giving program at numerous private companies and many state and municipal government organizations. Contributions to EarthShare support a broad range of charities committed to protecting public health and our air, land, water and wildlife.
The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation is a member of EarthShare, a nationwide federation of the country’s most respected environmental and conservation charities. To find out more about how you and your workplace can support PPFF through an EarthShare charitable giving campaign, please contact Marci Mowery via email or phone at 717.236.7644. You can also visit EarthShare’s web site.
More to Learn
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. Whether you’re a trailbuilder, a wildlife expert, an event organizer, or one of those special people who always say, “Just put me to work wherever you need me,” Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests have a role for you.
Find your niche. Make your voice heard with decision makers. Pitch in with a friends group. Work on your own or with your family, friends, and co-workers as a Steward of Penn’s Woods. Support any of the programs and initiatives we promote. You will be welcome as a volunteer. And it’s as good for you as it is for your state parks and forests!
Team-building does not need to take place in a classroom or on a ropes course. Sometimes all it takes is a day of tree planting, invasive species removal, painting an education center, or removing litter from a beautiful Pennsylvania waterway. Your team will feel empowered!
Parks & Forests Week
Parks & Forests Week – May 23 through May 30
The Foundation was proud that the 125th anniversary of state parks and forests (2018) resulting in the declaration of the first Parks & Forests Week. It’s the perfect opportunity to volunteer. To visit a new place. To appreciate the gifts of our public lands. Watch our calendar for how we’ll celebrate this year!