Hop on over to Frog Fest this weekend near Spring Mills

By AMBER MORRIS

For The Express

SPRING MILLS — If the summer sun has you ready for a hopping good time this weekend, then jump on over to Spring Mills on Saturday to the Muddy Paws Marsh where adults and youngsters alike can learn all about frogs, and the outdoors that they call home, at the 8th annual Frog Fest in the heart of Penns Valley.

The event is co-hosted by the owners of the marsh, Greg and Mary Kay Williams, and the Penns Valley Conservation Association (PVCA).

The marsh was drained back in 1940 and was used for farmland, but was restored to its natural state after the couple purchased the grounds in 1991.

Today, this wetland area is home to five different species of frogs including spring peepers, bullfrogs, green frogs, pickerel and American Toads, as well as numerous migratory birds and other wildlife.

The Frog Fest promises a family friendly day amongst nature learning about amphibians and their cohabitants, and the organizers are hoping that everyone will take a bit of that knowledge along back home with them.

The event will take place rain or shine and will run from 3 to 6 p.m.

Frog Fest will offer informative stations throughout Muddy Paws’ 25 acres of wetlands where guests can participate in locating and discovering the importance of macro-invertebrates in streams; bird watching and learning about avian migration paths; paint pictures of the beautiful landscape; and find and identify native and pollinator plants.

During this unique occasion attendees will learn about the life cycles of butterflies; how to have fun in nature; the best approach to finding tadpoles, how to tune our ears in to hearing frog sounds; and also finding out about the different types of frogs that live in the marsh.

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center will be on hand with a live animal show that will include snakes and turtles and will teach the audience about the habitat of local wildlife and how to respect and foster the environment that these creatures live in.

Dr. Jim Julian, a professor in Biology at Penn State Altoona, will be leading some of the day’s activities. Dr. Julian is an expert in amphibians and has done extensive research with the United States Geological Survey and National Park Service. He will guide the visitors and give them the opportunity to interact with frogs in their own native surroundings – something that many children never get to experience.

The event is free and open to the public, however all children must be supervised by an adult. Parents may bring along drinking water and lawn chairs, and all guests are encouraged to wear sunscreen, and to wear their rain boots and play clothes so that they can get their “paws muddy.”

Muddy Paws Marsh is located at 4158 Penns Valley Road, Spring Mills, Pa. 16875, next door to the Cooke Tavern Bed and Breakfast.

For more information on Frog Fest 2017, or any of the Penns Valley Conservation Association’s upcoming events please visit their website at http://www.pennsvalley.net

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