Editor’s note: This is the seventh installment of a nine-part weekly column about the Centred Outdoors program, organized by ClearWater Conservancy and community partners with funding from a Centre Foundation Centre Inspires grant.
You are invited to Centred Outdoors’ event this week at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center from 2-5 p.m. Sunday and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. Join us while we explore two different kinds of wetlands in State College’s backyard.
Millbrook Marsh is a great place to take your family to enjoy nature and for taking a relaxing walk on the boardwalk through dense dogwoods and cattails. Birds love this environment, often making Milbrook Marsh their home, and the marsh is an important place for migratory birds. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot yellow warblers, Baltimore orioles, swallows and the red-winged blackbirds. Located in the marsh, the bird blind allows you to look into the vast field of cattails where many of these birds, and sometimes deer, love to be.
The marsh is an important area that collects floodwaters. The wetland plants and spongy soil are essential in cleaning the water that flows through the marsh, making the water that leaves the marsh generally cleaner than the water that enters. Millbrook Marsh has two fens, one of which is man-made. The man-made fen was part of a wetland relocation project and is now located in the field by the education building and is home to green and tree frogs, as well as occasional sandpipers.
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Come walk the path in the native pollinator garden, Millbrook Marsh’s effort to restore native plants to the area while providing essential habitats for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The pollinator garden has provided opportunities for many local groups to be involved in garden care and design, including scouts, summer camps and the Millbrook Marsh program for preschool children. Along with the plants and wildlife found at Millbrook Marsh, we will learn about the important history of the area, including how Native Americans used the site, and Penn State’s connection to the former Farmer’s High School.
The 0.6-mile trail is flat and should take about an hour to complete. Wear comfortable walking shoes that can get a little muddy. Dogs are allowed on leash, and be sure to pick up after them. We hope to see you out there.
Lanagan is a Penn State graduate in geoscience and science education. She is currently working for the National Parks Service.
If you go
What: Centred Outdoors guided outing
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Millbrook Marsh is located at 548 Puddintown Road, State College. Parking is available in the parking lot right off of Puddintown Road.