Penns Valley

On Centre | Penns Valley: Hop on down to Frog Fest in Spring Mills

Ribbit, ribbit. Croak, croak.

Whatever sounds you think frogs make is what you’ll likely hear May 23 at the annual Frog Fest in Spring Mills.

The event aims to educate the public about frogs that find their habitat locally and is hosted by the Penns Valley Conservation Association at Muddy Paws Marsh.

Frog Fest, in its fifth year, will start later in the day, but will be held earlier in the year to give guests a better chance at seeing frogs, and then gathering around to listen to them, said Jim Flanagan, environmental education coordinator.

The event was inspired by landowners Mary Kay and Greg Williams, who originally started a “save the frogs” activity, Flanagan said.

“We wanted to continue the theme,” Flanagan said. “We’ll let people explore the marsh and see what plants and animals are there in an open format. Spring was a slow start, but we’re starting to get a lot of plant life and a lot of tadpoles, so there is a lot to do.”

Muddy Paws Marsh, a wetland, was drained around 1940, so the land could be used for agriculture.

When the Williamses purchased the property in 1991, they wanted to re-establish the wetlands and open them for education outreach, Flanagan said.

The festival will also include an animal show with representatives from Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and lessons from Jim Julian, a herpetologist who teaches at Penn State Altoona.

“This kind of event lines up with the PVCA’s missions to help preserve the environment,” Flanagan said. “Frogs are indicator species for wetlands and it’s a chance to educate people about that.”

Common frogs in the area include green frogs, bullfrogs, wood frogs and spring peepers, Flanagan said.

The bullfrogs have the most distinct croak, Flanagan said, although all the frogs can be heard — as it’s mating season.

“It’s a nice way to bring the community together in a place (whose) environment is important to the area,” Flanagan said.

Admission is free.