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PPFF Honors winners of 2011 state park and forest awards
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation honored groups, facilities and individuals for exemplary service, programs and work to protect and enhance our state park and forest system at a gala in Harrisburg May 3.

The top honor, the Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award was presented to Robert Griffith, who served as the first Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society from 1977-2010.

Griffith is a leader in the recreation and park field, a tireless advocate for funding for state parks and other conservation funding initiatives, and has served on numerous advisory and planning groups and coalitions in support of recreation and conservation programs.. Read more...


Sixteen residents, small business owners, local organizations across PA Wilds earn awards
A small group of business owners, citizens and organizations from across the 12½-county Pennsylvania Wilds region have earned awards for their contributions in sustainable tourism development. Read more...


Conservancy, Bethlehem Authority team up on long-term conservation easement
Bethlehem Authority, owner and manager of that city’s 22,000-acre watershed in the southern Pocono Mountains section of Carbon and Monroe counties, recently has entered into a long-term conservation easement with the Nature Conservancy. Read more...


Celebration officially opens refurbished hostel at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Although it has been hosting travelers since April 5, the Ironmaster’s Mansion at Pine Grove Furnace State Park was officially reopened on May 6 when about 100 people attended the dedication celebration and toured the newly refurbished hostel. Read more...


Bids are approved for projects at state forests, parks across Pa.
Bridge replacements in three state forest districts in north central Pennsylvania took a major step forward last month when bids totaling more than $1.6 million were awarded to three area construction companies. Read more...


DCNR appoints new manager at Caledonia State Park
Mitchell Stickle has been named manager of Caledonia State Park located in Adams and Franklin counties. Read more...


DCNR Appoints New Manager at Gifford Pinchot State Park
DCNR recently named Bob Deffner as manager of Gifford Pinchot State Park, York County. He is former manager of the R.B. Winter State Park Complex in Union County. Read more...


Next South Mountain lecture to focus on treasured landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
The importance of protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be the focus of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on May 12, DCNR announced recently. Read more...


Also in the News

Live bluebird nestbox camera offers glimpse into active nest
In an effort to garner appreciation for wildlife, especially the state’s bluebird population, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s webcasting of a live video feed from a bluebird nestbox on the grounds of its Harrisburg Headquarters now is providing a glimpse into an active nest. To view the live feed, visit the agency’s website and click on the “Bluebird Nest Cam” icon in the center of the homepage.

First launched in 2009, the bluebird camera was the agency’s first foray into the world of live nest camera feeds. It provides a color video feed plus audio from the bluebird nestbox quarters, which is situated near the agency’s headquarters. A live feed also is broadcast to a monitor in the agency’s lobby. The webcast features an infrared video camera, which enables visitors to tune in anytime of the day or night.

For more information on bluebirds, visit the Game Commission’s website, click on “Wildlife” in the menu bar in the banner and choose “Bluebird” from the listing under the “Wild Birds and Birding” section.


Agency Spotlight

Weiser State Forest
Even though the name changed recently, this forest has been around for awhile. Read more...


Upcoming Events

Spring Bird Walk at Tuscarora State Park
A Get Outdoors PA eventMay 14. Held 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. Registration is required. Join Conservation Volunteer John Domalakes for a early morning bird walk. Participants will meet in the Crow Trail parking lot on Tuscarora Mountain Road. The trail is 2 miles in length and easy. Some binoculars and field guides will be available for loan. Shine only.


September 11th National Memorial Trail™ Alliance to hold public meetings
May 16, 19, 25. With the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaching, an organization hopes to honor the memories of that day by establishing biking, hiking and eventually driving trails connecting Somerset County, New York and Washington. With support from DCNR, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, and trail and outdoors organizations three public planning meetings and/or open houses will be held:

  • May 16, 4-7 p.m. at Northampton Community College, 511 E. Third Street, South Bethlehem;
  • May 19, 4-7 p.m. at Somerset County Office Bldg, Lunch Room, 2nd floor, 300 N. Center Ave., Somerset; and
  • May 16, 2-5 p.m. at Rachel Carson State Office Building, Room 105, 400 Market St, Harrisburg.
For more information, contact David Brinkley at the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, or visit www.911MemorialTrail.org.


Interest groups, public encouraged to help build next Statewide Preservation Plan
May 18, June 8 and 9. Trail and conservation organizations as well as the general public are encouraged to participate in an upcoming public forum, the feedback from which will help shape the new Statewide Historic Preservation Plan. The regional public forums will present the results of last year’s value survey and moderate a discussion to identify how to best preserve those values through the Commonwealth’s historic preservation-related programs.

The primary goal of the planning process is for the public to inform the Pennsylvania’s State Historic Preservation Office of what they value in their community in order to determine the preservation priorities of people who live and work in Pennsylvania. This plan will help the state identify, prioritize and address historic preservation needs over the course of the next five years. For more information, visit here, or contact Hannah Charlton at (717) 783-2698.

The remaining public forums:

  • May 18, 2011, 1:30-4:30 p.m. – Harrisburg. The State of the State Plenary Session, Statewide Conference on Heritage, PHMC State Museum, 300 North Street, Harrisburg. Registration here
  • June 8, 2011, 1-4 p.m. – Philadelphia. Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 190 N. Independence Mall West, 8th Floor, Philadelphia
  • June 9, 2011, 12:30-3:30 p.m. – Ambler. Ambler Theater 108 E. Butler Ave, Ambler, PA 19002


River Towns workshop offered
May 23 and June 28. Both workshops are held 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at PPL Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center Auditorium in Danville, Montour County. The SEDA-COG Community Resource Center and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership are presenting a workshop series geared towards river towns as part of the River Towns – Phase II: Discovering Middle Susquehanna Valley River Towns project. The workshops are designed to provide information for river towns to decide each one’s unique course as it prepares for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The registration form can be downloaded here. Multiple spaces are available if more than one person from your organization should choose to attend. The cost of each individual workshop is $15. Follow the RSVP schedule below in order to allow us to accommodate for lunch. Contact Becky Digan at (570) 524-4491.


Online workshop May 25 for those interested in South Mountain mini-grants 
May 25.  An online grant workshop on Wednesday, May 25, from 2-3 p.m. will be available to anyone with access to the internet and a telephone.  The South Mountain Partnership mini-grant program provides grants that communities and organizations can use to preserve and promote their natural and cultural assets. The application deadline in July 31. For 2011, $150,000 in grants is available. The mini-grant program is meant to encourage economic development among local communities by funding projects to build trails, conduct outdoor festivals and develop promotional guides for local agriculture and forest products.

Please RSVP to participate by visiting here or calling the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office at (717) 258-5771. For more information about the partnership visit the South Mountain blog.


Sustainable Landscapes Bus Tour Returns to the Lehigh Valley
June 15. Township officials, landscape architects, planners, educators, park managers, and others—come see eight great examples of ways to plan and manage land in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way while saving money! The tour kicks off at 8 a.m. at Emmaus Community Park. Two busses will then depart for sustainable sites around Lehigh County including: Wildlands Conservancy Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, Jordan Creek Greenway, Ironton Rail Trail, Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Trexler Nature Preserve, Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery and Penn’s Meadow. These sites highlight native plantings, natural stormwater management, energy efficiencies and more.

For just $35 you will receive breakfast, lunch, a spot on the bus and handouts. Registration materials and information are available here. Only 100 seats will be available, so register early. For more information about the event, or to inquire about sponsorships, call Cammy at (610) 391-9583 ext. 22.


2011 Sustainable Landscapes Bus Tour to motor through Lancaster County
Note: this event was erroneously listed in the last issue as taking place in May. The editor regrets the error.

June 23. Township officials, landscape architects, planners, educators, park managers, and others—come see six great examples of ways to plan and manage land in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way while saving money! The tour kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at the Farm and Home Center in Lancaster with a continental breakfast and keynote presentations. Two busses will then depart for sustainable sites around Lancaster County including: Schaeffer Elementary School, Warwick Township Building, Mummau Park, Santo Domingo development, Ethel Swan Park and Raymark (a former industrial site), and Brubaker Farm. These sites highlight native plantings, natural stormwater management, energy efficiencies, and more.

The bargain price of the bus tour is $25 which includes breakfast, lunch, a spot on the bus and handouts. Registration materials are available here. Only 100 seats will be available, so register early. For more information about the event, call Jessica at (717) 214-7511.



May 11, 2011

Agency Spotlight

Weiser State Forest

Weiser State Forest

Even though the name changed recently, this forest has been around for awhile. Read more...




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