For additional information, contact Marci Mowery at 717-236-7644 or [email protected].

Camp Hill, PA: The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), is excited to recognize the outstanding service, programs, and exemplary work in state parks and forests by volunteers and staff with the announcement of its 2023 award winners.

This year’s winners will be honored at an awards banquet on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Little Buffalo State Park. The state park venue provides opportunities to both view projects supported by private philanthropy at the park as well as to celebrate the contribution of the award winners.

The banquet marks PPFF’s first in-person banquet since 2019. In 2021, PPFF recognized the volunteers and staff who shone during the pandemic.

Sponsorships for awards, tables, and aspects of the banquet are available. More information on the awards banquet is available on PPFF’s website:

“We always look forward to the return of the annual banquet,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “In 2023, we’re thrilled to celebrate the award winners’ commitment to the stewardship of our public lands for today and future generations.”

Award Winners:

  • Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award
    • Marcus Shneck (posthumously) whose 27-year career with Harrisburg’s Patriot-News and PennLive covered outdoor pursuits of all kinds and introduced many a Pennsylvanian to the natural world. 
  • Joe Ibberson Government Award
    • Mike Piaskowski, PaOC, is being recognized for his work as Manager of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Crops, convening partners to plan work projects, recruiting and hiring Corps members, and ensuring the program’s overall success.
  • President’s Award-Individual
    • Jack Stefferud, Senior Director for Land Protection at Natural Lands, is being recognized for his commitment to preserving natural areas, his congeniality when dealing with property owners, and his outstanding impacts on the diversity and availability of Pennsylvania’s public lands
  • President’s Award-Project
    • Cook Forest Sensory Trail, both the Friends of Cook Forest and the Cook Forest State Park are being recognized for their collaborative efforts to create the ADA Sensory Trail.
  • Chair Award
    • New Trail Brewing Company is being recognized for its fundraising initiatives linking a beer to important conservation projects, as well as exemplifying the vital connection between craft breweries, outdoor recreation, healthy economies, and safe, well-maintained outdoor spaces.
  • Park of the Year
    • RB Winter State Park is being recognized for its exemplary customer service focused on providing a quality experience for visitors, its boundless recreational opportunities, and its resilience in the face of unexpected hardship – blunted by the dedicated efforts of park staff and the Friends of RB Winter State Park.
  • Forest of the Year
    • Pinchot State Forest is being recognized for its innovative and exemplary work in both forest management and recreation being done. 
  • Volunteerism
    • Patti and Jamey Hutchinson from Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center go above and beyond as volunteers, not only maintaining the Cavity Nesting Trail but stewarding waterways and trails and being a champion of the Leave No Trace philosophy.
  • Improvement
    • Nittany Mountain Biking Association is being recognized for making a positive and lasting contribution to the Rothrock State Forest trail system. The club’s hard work allows for a larger portion of the public to enjoy a high-quality outdoor experience in Rothrock State Forest.
  • Education Group
    • The Friends of World’s End State Park brought tremendous improvements to the park’s facilities, trails, and educational programs.
  • Education Individual
    • Wayne Sierer’s tireless energy as a volunteer in the DCNR Bureau of Forestry has earned him this year’s Education Award.
  • Young Volunteer
    • Angelica Brill, intern and research assistant at PPFF, brings her energy and enthusiasm to all projects.


About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation

Founded in 1999, 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 47 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. More at

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

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Outstanding Service, Programs, and Exemplary Work in Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Recognized