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Pennsylvania’s Hiking Week showcasing state’s trails, walkways
Hikers can pick their pace and path through Pennsylvania’s bountiful outdoors during Hiking Week 2014, which began on Saturday, May 24, offering participants a variety of organized hikes across the state.

“Pennsylvania Hiking Week is a great time to explore the commonwealth’s numerous hiking trails,” said DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti. “Whether you like to hike alone or with a group, spring is a beautiful time of year in Penn’s Woods.

“The ‘welcome mat’ is out to novices and trail-hardened veterans alike, inviting them to hike in our state parks, forests and municipal greenways in this annual salute to healthy exercise and the serenity of those very special outdoor places,” Ferretti said. Read more...

Gov. Corbett issues executive order protecting state forests, parks from gas leasing that involves surface disturbance
Governor Tom Corbett has issued an executive order prohibiting leasing for natural gas development in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that would result in additional long-term surface disturbance. Read more...

DCNR to resume spraying woodlands to combat gypsy moth damage
The cool, wet weather of spring 2013 has emerged as a strong ally of state woodland managers as they prepare to combat remnants of a statewide gypsy moth population that had been posed for a heavy outbreak across much of the state, DCNR officials said last week. Read more...

DCNR announces grants available for protecting non-game species
The Wild Resource Conservation Program is accepting applications for grants to protect the state’s native biodiversity. Read more...

State park waterways gain reputation as fishing hot spots
When the final tally of votes cast was in from across the nation, Pennsylvania’s state park system came up with a pretty nice catch—six of its lakes were voted among the top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots in the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing™ campaign. Read more...

DCNR workers, volunteers launch floating islands at Marsh Creek State Park
No man may be an island, but one woman is trying hard to be the creator of that island—at least when they are floating in a state park lake. Read more...

Susquehanna Riverlands projects receive funding
With funding assistance from DCNR, the Lancaster County Conservancy is awarding $72,125 in grants to six organizations that support the initiatives of the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape. Read more...

Delaware County high school team claims state Envirothon honors
Students of Penncrest High School in Delaware County walked off with first-place honors after competing May 20 and 21 in the 31st Pennsylvania State Envirothon at Susquehanna University and PPL Montour Preserve. Read more...

DEP, DCNR announce bicycle friendly business designation
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo announced this month that the Rachel Carson State Office Building has been rated a “silver bicycle friendly business” by the League of American Bicyclists. Read more...

Regional forestry group honors DCNR employee
Accomplishments in cooperative forest management have earned a Bureau of Forestry employee prestigious honors from the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters. Read more...

Also in the News

DCNR appoints new manager at Tioga State Forest District
DCNR has named Christopher S. Gastrock as manager of the Tioga State Forest District, based in Tioga County.

“Chris’ entire forestry career has been spent in the north central area of the state where he has forged a strong knowledge of the area’s people and the woodlands they value and enjoy,” said DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti. “Most recently, as a Tioga assistant manager, he mastered the public relations and managerial skills needed to assume the top post there.”

Heading one of 20 state forest districts across the state, Gastrock will oversee forest-growth management, personnel coordination, infrastructure maintenance and fire prevention and suppression. He also will manage service foresters who provide support, direction and technical assistance to private forest landowners.

Headquartered in Wellsboro, Tioga County, Tioga State Forest District includes Tioga and Bradford counties. Its state forest totals more than 161,890 acres and, along with seven other forest districts, anchors the Pennsylvania Wilds region. With its panoramic views, miles of pristine streams and Pine Creek Gorge adventures, Tioga draws legions of outdoors enthusiasts in all seasons.

Pa. Parks & Forests Foundation launches 2014 Photo Contest
Shutterbugs throughout Pennsylvania now have a chance to compare their works of art to other outdoor photos in PPFF's "Through the Seasons 2014 Photo Contest." The Foundation is now accepting submissions for the contest, which is open now and is ending Sept. 3, at 12:00 noon.

All photos must have been taken in a Pennsylvania state park or state forest. Prizes include a $75 state park gift card for "Best in Show" winners, a $50 gift card for first place winners in each category, and a $25 gift card for second place winners in each category.

The official contest categories for 2014 are: Appreciation of Beauty; Kids in the Outdoors; Outdoor Recreation; Volunteers in Actions; Dogs in the Outdoors; and a new one this year, Young Photographers (photographers aged 10-21). Winners will be selected by popular vote on PPFF’s Facebook page. Voting takes place from September 10 to September 17. Award winners will be featured in the Foundation’s fall newsletter and may be included on the PPFF website, Facebook page and in other electronic communications.

Entries should be sent to PPFF. Find complete rules and more information here.

Mini-grants available for South Mountain Conservation Landscape
The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program, administered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, is currently accepting applications for the 2014 grant round. Interested applicants must submit a pre-application form by June 30 and following a review of pre-application forms, applicants may be invited to submit a full application by July 31. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, municipalities, counties and educational institutions.

The mini-grant program is designed to stimulate projects that sustain south-central Pennsylvania’s sense of place by protecting and promoting natural, cultural, agricultural and recreational resources. Since it began in 2009, the program has funded 36 projects throughout the South Mountain landscape and has awarded $220,000 in support of these projects, an investment that has leveraged an additional $515,000 in matching funding.

Funds for the program originate from DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnership Program.  For more information about the mini-grant program, or for downloadable copies of the grant application process, visit here. To submit an application for the 2014 grant round, email.

Agency Spotlight

White Clay Creek Preserve
This preserve continues into the first state.

Upcoming Events

Introduction to Geocaching at Hickory Run State Park
May 31. Held 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

Participants will learn how to use and will practice using a handheld GPS unit to find hidden treasure. You’ll also be introduced to and learn how to continue geocaching on your own. There will be some hiking so please wear comfortable hiking shoes. Families are welcome, but young children may not be able to use GPS units. Meet at the Campground Amphitheater. Space is limited. Please call or visit the park office to register: (570) 443-0400. For information, contact Katie Martens.

For more DCNR events, go here.

May 28, 2014

Agency Spotlight

White Clay Creek Preserve

White Clay Creek Preserve

This preserve continues into the first state.

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