Ralph’s Majestic Vista – Moshannon State Forest
Photo by Samantha Markovich


ralphs pretty good vivewA brief note of greeting this week – it was a busy one so I didn’t get a chance to play around with the “solution” offered by our software vendor to the email template problem. Thanks for hanging in with me to those whose employers won’t let them make the extra click or who really don’t like the new system. If I have a work email address and you’d like me to update to a personal one, just let me know.
Friend Sam shared a number of photos from the “beautiful mountain vistas of Moshannon State Forest” on the Exploring PA Parks & Forests page this week. The masthead is “Ralph’s Majestic Vista,” never to be confused with Ralph’s Pretty Good View. (In case you’re curious, here’s an introduction to Ralph, another of those Pennsylvania trail legends to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude when we put one hiking boot in front of the other.)
Logo with nature tagPam Metzger, Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation


Thank you to everyone who tuned in on Wednesday evening to salute the COVID-19 Champions. If you missed it – especially the talk by Dr. Michael Suk – you need to visit the  Facebook page or YouTube channel. The entire presentation is archived in each place. And the full booklet on the award winners’ contributions can be found on our website.
witf ad for the era docymentaryNow comes the actual anniversary of the signing of the Environmental Rights Amendment, and PPFF is pleased to join with WITF/State Impact Pennsylvania for a special screening of documentary clips featuring the history of the passage of the amendment. Following the screening, a panel discussion with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn, amendment author Franklin Kury, Rafiyqa Muhammad of the Harrisburg Environmental Advisory Council and DEP Environmental Justice Advisory Board, and Emma Olney from the Governor’s Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation and Wildlife Leadership Conservation Ambassador gives viewers the chance to learn more about why and how the amendment was created and, just as importantly, what it means for all Pennsylvanians today. Register to join the event at the WITF website.
We are still seeking two paid interns (bilingual English/Spanish) for either Jacobsburg or Nolde Forest Environmental Education Centers. Share the attached position description please. We are so happy to be able to support these positions and truly hope we can find the right candidates.

2021 lifeguard post

2021 bike month safetyDCNR is also looking to fill a few important summer positions – lifeguards! Check out the Facebook post for all the details.
Bike Month rolls on (sorry) and this post from DCNR nicely sums up good information to keep in mind as you are rolling along one of the system’s many trails (including “my own” Great Allegheny Passage). A comment to the DCNR post notes to also carry a tire repair kit. The poster says he got a flat and had to walk eight miles back to the car. We’ve all been there, Ted. As Bill always says, “There are two kinds of bikers. Those who have had a flat tire and those who will.”
The “Geezer Gang” of the Friends of Nockamixon State Park got a little well-deserved publicity this spring from the Pennsylvania Outdoor News. Look for them out maintaining one of the trails – or better yet, get in touch with Chief Geezer in Charge Mike Quinn and volunteer your time!
Speaking of volunteering, the good folks of Forbes State Forest know how to have a good time. They’re throwing a Garlic Mustard Pull Party tomorrow morning at 9:00. Contact Educator Rachael and sign up – she’ll give you more information on where and how.
20210506 prestons pearlThe news has been coming fast and furious from Moraine State Park this month. The dedication of Preston’s Pearl, the Moraine Preservation Fund’s new tour boat, and announcement that both the summer Regatta AND fireworks will make their return to the park this summer (August 6 through 8) means that things are slowly returning to normal. Methinks a trip up I-79 wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve had in a while! Now, about getting a cabin.
Truly – good luck with that. Reservations for campsites, cabins, cottages, yurts, and picnic grills (okay, I exaggerate with that one) are filling faster than a bird feeder in February. Or is that emptying out? Either way, if you are planning to camp in a Pennsylvania state park this summer get a move-on!
As things get back to normal we are also hoping to get back to normal in the PPFF office in Camp Hill. If you’d like to come in for a couple of hours on occasion and help Jenna especially with things like mailing thank you letters and store orders, organizing materials, or whatever else might crop up, please get in touch with her. Everyone in the office has been fully vaccinated and there is a very socially distanced conference room where work can take place.


Give a click to the photo to go to its original, larger format.
20210501 week whackers eye view of trail
Trail boss John Motz from the Friends of Big Pocono had the crew out on the trails this past week. Volunteers are coming back, folks! Check out the PPFF Calendar of Events as it slowly repopulates. With any luck I’ll be able to re-introduce the calendar overview feature of this little missive come June.



202105 joy trainers wren nest
PPFF Member Joy was out doing what she does – plant, weed, tend – this week when she noticed “a little brown bird flying out of the pile of dirt which is covered in high grass. So I decided to take a peek in the grass and look at what I found!” The moral of the story is to keep your eyes open for all of the wonders around us.


20210509 vittal prabhu hidden gem

Photographer Vittal Prabhu correctly identifies Ravensburg State Park a “hidden gem.” Bigger isn’t ALWAYS better! Is this the kind of photo that makes a mind-boggling jigsaw? Perhaps!

20210510 valerie ann motz johnson natural play area

A reader turned me on to the Slow Hiking & Backpacking Pennsylvania Book of Faces group. My kind of folks. Confession time: I had no idea how cool the natural play area at Nescopeck State Park is until seeing the pictures from Valerie Ann Motz-Johnson. Since it is a private group you won’t be able to see the rest of pictures so I think that a visit might be worthwhile especially if you have kidlets.


20210514 where are we



swiftwalkerFor our bike month kick-off I asked about the most distinguishing characteristic of what is regarded as the first bicycle. Correct answer, known as the “swiftwalker,” this 1817 invention had no pedals. Oh, and wooden wheels. It was, in short, a far cry from the tricked out carbon fiber lighter than air contraptions to which we are treated these days. (And I have a little bit of difficulty figuring out what was so swift about it.)
To continue the theme, this pedal-less situation didn’t last long. When did that marvelous addition make its first appearance?
Enter each week to increase your chances of a fabulous prize at the end of the month when I’ll draw one entry from all correct answers received during the month.



annes card
The card shown was developed by PPFF Member Anne Wain who commissioned the illustration from her friend and “fellow eco crusader” Marty Ittner to hand out at various events she’ll be tabling this spring. Lovely, no?

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PPFF 2021 Awards Postcard Invite Page 1

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.

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