FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS
Our Mission: To Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania's State Parks and Forests
Indigo Dawn - Hills Creek State Park
Photo by Matthew Stevens (High on the Mountain Photography)
Goodness, it was only two weeks ago that I included a Hills Creek State Park masthead but Matthew Stevens of High on the Mountain Photography took two winners you can access through the photo link. I guess when you're photogenic, you're photogenic!
Those of you who weighed in through the planning surveys for the Penn's Parks for All strategic planning process for State Parks will be delighted to know that the plan will be released at Pine Grove Furnace State Park today at 1:30 PM. This blueprint was developed with extensive public input and includes a set of strategies to move our award-winning state parks forward over the decades ahead. The event will be held outdoors near the swimming beach in the Fuller Lake Day Use Area at the park.
How do you know you've hit the big time? When you have a craft beer series named after you! Okay, so they aren't really named after PA Parks & Forests Foundation but they are going to acknowledge the state parks that we all love and support, thanks to Williamsport's New Trail Brewing Company. A donation from the sale of the beers will support projects in the named park. Of course, we all know that we can't consume alcohol IN the named park (or any other state park for that matter).
First up? A "Hazy IPA" salute to Westmoreland County's gem, Keystone State Park. The beer must be delish as it sold out in the taproom the first week! Cans available (last we heard anyway) at the brewery and we absolutely LOVE the crew's mantra, "Get Out There. Enjoy the Great Outdoors. And Leave Them Better Than You Found Them." Check out the press release for additional details including the announcement of the next brew in honor of Worlds End State Park.
This week saw Marci, Jen, and Angelica on the roads with the COVID-19 Champions awards to French Creek State Park to salute maintenance supervisor Cody Miller who was a whirling dervish (have hammer, will travel) during the pandemic and, of course, the park and forest rangers and forest fire incident management team who put their lives and safety on the line all year but most particularly during the busy busy days in our parks and forests as usage surged. Rangers at French Creek State Park are: Brian Price, Crista Sandoval, Corey Denton, Douglas McCarson, Gabriel Marks, Joshua Wagner, Krista Leibensperger, and Lindsey Johnson. IMT members are: Greg Reese, Jim Stiteler, Kayla Kehers, Richard Deppen, and Steve Wacker. Shout out to AFSCME Council 13 for sponsoring the award to Cody Miller.
You may not know it but tomorrow is World Ranger Day, celebrated each year on July 31 to honor the rangers of all nations who have been killed or injured in the line of duty and to honor the work these folks do every day. The role of "park ranger" is not the benign carefree existence many of us believed from childhood. It is, at its core, a law enforcement position with a healthy dose of environmental education thrown in for good measure. If you're out tomorrow, thank a ranger!
Then it was on to Montgomery County's Green Lane Park where they met Ryan Beltz of the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy and Angelina Capozzi, who won her award (sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and Representative Liz Hanbidge) as a result of the educational programs put into place for Upper Gwynedd Township. (She's now taken her skills to Montgomery Township.) Ryan was good enough to take the ladies for a cruise on the Conservancy's floating classroom, a solar-powered 24-foot pontoon equipped with microscopes, water testing equipment, and tons of educational fun. Just the kind of program for which Ryan was recognized!
Next Tuesday Tacony Creek Park in Philadelphia will be the venue for an awards presentation to Brandi Aulston of Hike + Heal, AeLin Compton of the Philadelphia Rec Department, and the Tookany Tacony Creek Watershed Partnership. The Philly crew will come together at 10:00 AM at the Tacony Creek Park entrance at Tabor and Olney Avenues. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, please come by and say congratulations to these deserving winners!
Sunday kicks off #HikeUnited, outlined in Outside Business Journal this way:
“'Hike United is a way to get people out on the trails during the month of August. No specific trail, no specific distance,” the organizers say. The initiative is simply a way to bring people together in a time when it feels we are more divided than ever."
"In other words, it’s a call to get outside, gather, hike, and talk. After a year of deep complication in our collective lives, the premise feels like a breath of fresh air."
TIME'S ALMOST UP!
Share the link: ppff.gives/bring-a-member
Pictures of the Week
Rich Wilber shared a selection of images from his July 21-25 trek along the Susquehannock Trail System in the Susquehannock State Forest of northern PA. A person could fall asleep quickly in that spot.
Of course, when it comes to Ricketts Glen State Park the falls are usually the stars of the show. But sometimes you just have to take things down to their roots. Thanks to Heather Glenn and this image, we can!
A few weeks ago I asked about the places you like to stop along the way when you're traveling and S.B. Elliott State Park came up, I believe. That's what's happening here and in the other pictures in a series by Noe Rose Hamptons - a stop for her and her pups to stretch their legs.
Do you ever get tired of seeing photos of the marvel that is Trough Creek State Park's Balanced Rock? There are so many quirky things to see at Trough Creek; this is but one! Thanks to Beth Van Horn for sharing this one.
This week's bonus picture! A rebellious rabbit at Shawnee State Park as captured by Stan Corley. The rabbit. just. can't. even. And without opposable thumbs, there's no doing a jigsaw puzzle either.
Calendar of Events
Looking ahead to month's end.
Saturday, 8/7 - 8:00 AM
Mount Pisgah State Park.
Green boxes are photos and photos from the news; red are events.
Take Five for Trivia
Yes, it's true, there are lots of slippery rocks in Slippery Rock Creek at McConnells Mill State Park. However, I found it fascinating to note from the history section of the park's website that the creek is named for a particular slippery rock!
"Slippery Rock Creek is 49 miles long and full of slippery rocks, yet is named for one exceptionally slick rock below the Armstrong Bridge. It is believed that an Indian trail forded the creek at a shelf of sandstone near a natural oil seep, which made the rock exceptionally slippery, and gave its name to the creek, a town, a university, a rock formation, and many local businesses."
"During the late 1800s, oil wells briefly flourished in the valley, but the oil was swiftly invaded by groundwater and the wells were abandoned. The oil wells drained the oil seep and the Slippery Rock is no longer covered in oil."
Also of note is the availability of a "Trail of Geology" pamphlet shared by McConnells Mill and Moraine. If you are interested in rocks (slippery or otherwise), this is a terrific read.
Let's wrap up July with another terrific read (and activity book), our "My DCNR Ranger" kids' publication that was issued a few years ago in honor of World Ranger Day. Once again we invite you to download it, print it, and share it with your favorite young park companion (in Spanish too). Then, tell me how long the rangers' training course is.
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.
Photo by Scott Dickson
From (not of) Oil Creek State Park
Lyrics by La Dispute
Fall Down, Never Get Back Up Again
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.