On Centre: Penns Valley | Program will get marsh hopping

mcarroll@centredaily.comJune 2, 2013 

Mary Kay Williams isn’t shy about inviting outdoor adventurers young and old to “hop down” to Muddy Paws Marsh.

That’s because the restored wetland and educational center, owned by Williams and her husband, Greg, will host the third anual Frog Fest on Saturday.

The event, sponsored by the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County and the Penns Valley Conservation Association, is a fun and educational program for children, Williams said.

Youngsters can learn about the amphibians, their songs and habitat and take part in frong-related games and activities.

But it’s not just kids who will get a kick out of the event, now in its third year, Williams said.

Both adults and children will learn about the types of frogs and wildlife that live at Muddy Paws Marsh and similar habitats in the region and well as how to identify the creatures by their songs.

“It’s for people from 7 to 77,” Williams said.

Jim Julian, a biology instructor at Penn State Altoona, will join educators from the conservation district and the Snetsinger Butterfly Garden at Tudek Park in presenting during the festival.

“For us , it’s really nice to share the idea of taking care of the earth — of nature,” Williams said. “Around the globe, amphibians are declining or are in trouble. We feel really good that Muddy Paws Marsh is a place where we are conserving habitat.”

The marsh is home to a master gardener pollinator garden as well as four varieties of frogs, nesting birds such as the American bittern and migratory birds including least sandpipers, according to the Penn State Extention.

“It’s a little different,” Williams said. “The whole notion is getting out with the frogs and the birds.”

The event, which is free, is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the marsh located at 4158 Penns Valley Road in Spring Mills. It will take place rain or shine.

Organizers recommend children wear old clothes and boots. Parents can bring a lawn chair, drinking water and sunscreen. Water nets are optional.

Those intersted in attending are asked to RSVP by Monday at info@muddypawsmarsh.org.

Matt Carroll writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. He can be reached at 231-4631 or mcarroll@centredaily.com.

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