Camp Hill, PA –The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, connected Recreation Equipment Inc. (REI) and Gallitzin State Forest staff for a volunteer day to continue beautification projects in the Babcock Picnic Area. The projects were funded in part through a grant from REI.
On Monday September 16, 2019, ten employees from REI’s Bedford Distribution Center and a few local community volunteers joined PPFF and several of the Gallitzin State Forest’s staff at the Babcock Picnic Area off Route 53 near Windber, for a tree planting. With holes pre-dug by the forestry staff, 25 pin oak, white oak, red oak, dogwood, and service berry trees were planted near the new CSXT restroom, one of the picnic areas, and near the ballfield. The generous grant from REI purchased the trees, as well as a surplus of mulch, which was placed around several mature trees in the picnic grove.
“Investing in the easily-accessed picnic areas of our public lands lends itself to one of our goals at REI – to awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors for all,” said Amanda Galvan, Outreach Specialist, REI Co-op. “We are thrilled to work with PPFF on this project and look forward to seeing the continued improvements in the Babcock Picnic area.”
“This is another step in the ongoing district project to continue improving and making the picnic area a family friendly place to visit,” said Rob Wetzel, Forest Manager, Gallitzin State Forest. “I would like to thank REI for their generous gift and the PPFF for their assistance in making this project happen.”
“Picnicking is a very popular activity in our state parks and forests,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “PPFF is excited to be partnered with REI and the forest district to continue their work to enhance the Babcock picnic area. Not only is it a good place for eating and contemplating, it is a springboard for exploring the rest of the forest district.”
The picnic area is easily accessed and provides a relaxed setting among the trees with several pavilions. The improvements will help showcase the area as a place for family and friends to gather in the outdoors, increasing its use for hiking and wildlife and bird watching.
About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Founded in 1999, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities and donations through its more than 40 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement in volunteerism, recreation and conservation. @PaPFF

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