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5th Annual Earth Day event held at Mill Cove

Mill Cove Environmental Area hosts a day of learning and fun


by Rebecca Hazen - May 2, 2016

Although it was a cloudy, chilly day, there was still lots of learning and fun to be had at the fifth annual Earth Day event at Mill Cove Environmental Area in Mansfield.

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Many local organizations turned out to hold demonstrations for attendees to enjoy throughout the day. One of many highlights of the day included Philadelphia Mobile Zipline, which provided visitors with an adrenaline-inducing zip line ride through the air. Visitors to Mill Cove also had the chance to go fishing and receive archery instruction, which were provided by GNR Sporting Goods in Mansfield, and participate in a scavenger hunt.

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Baywings Falconry from Lewisburg introduced attendees to birds of prey including a peregrine falcon, an American kestrel falcon, an eagle owl, and a one-eyed, rescued screech owl. “I have worked with birds of prey for thirty-seven years,” Cheri Heimbach, falconer and owner of Baywings Falconry, said. “We have a breeding program, and we also do a little bit of rescue work.”

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The Lambs Creek Sportsman Club from Mansfield held a target shoot for kids ages 6-12. The club also raffled off a Red Ryder BB Gun. Caydon Stone, 11, and Kylee Stone, 9, brother and sister from Westfield, were two of the many kids to try their hand at the target shooting. They both said that they had a lot of fun, and that they practice shooting at home. Kylee said that she even has her own .22 rifle.

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Students and professors from the fisheries program at Mansfield University brought tanks filled with different kinds of fish aquatic bugs that are found in the stream that passes alongside Mill Cove. The tanks were populated with tipula larvae, which grow into a crane flies. (The crane fly looks like a large mosquito, but they don’t bite.) There was also a hellgrammite larva, which will eventually become a dobsonfly. Rock bass, crayfish, and a salamander added to the array. “We want to teach people that there is so much more than just trout in the water,” said Dr. Greg Moyer, of the fisheries program.

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Members of the Grand Canyon FFA gave away potted flowers. Attendees could choose from marigolds or bachelor buttons. FFA members demonstrated how to make pots out of paper. “This way, they don’t have to worry about taking it out of a plastic pot, and they can just put it right in the ground,” an FFA member explained.

Jim Howe, President of Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries, spoke to WHP about their latest undertaking. “We have been working on a new project called Heading Home for many years,” Howe said, “This new building will hopefully be opening this July. It is for lost and abandoned cats and dogs. When people find these animals, right now there is no place for them to go. These animals can now go here, and we can try to find them homes. We designed it so that the back door is bigger than the front door. We want it to be easy for them to find homes. We don’t want animals in shelters. We want them in homes.”

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Howe also represented the Tioga County Visitors Bureau at Mill Cove. Howe provided various brochures and maps detailing the local landmarks and activities. “Even the people that live here still enjoy a lot of the activities. People who live here their whole life say that they have never done certain things. There are so many things in this county and more and more is happening all the time,” Howe said.

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Mandy Marconi, the North Central Environmental Educator with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, offered educational material to teach kids useful skills like animal tracking. “I am letting kids try to match up the tracks and scats to the animal pellets,” Marconi said. There were pellets for animals such as a skunk, red fox, possum, and bobcat. Marconi was also giving out tree seedlings for people to take home and plant.

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Locey Creek Alpaca Farm was at Mill Cove, selling alpaca fiber items. Two of their alpacas were also there, for anyone to pet and feel just how soft their fiber is.

“It is the fabric of the gods,” laughed Penny Cruttenden, co-owner of Locey Creek with her husband Steve. “There are no oils in their fibers, so it is hypoallergenic.” According to Cruttenden, the alpacas are sheared once a year, typically in May. They then send their fiber to a fiber mill to be turned into yarn. “We have thirty alpacas and we are due to have four more babies. They are very easy to raise. They are a low-maintenance animal.”

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The RC Mountain Modelaires Club displayed a broad selection of model aircraft. “We fly out of a field in Wellsboro about a mile out of town. These are radio controlled airplanes. Sometimes we build them from ground up, or sometimes we assemble a production model. We have a lot of fun flying and it is a family affair,” club member, Frank Granelli, said.

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Mill Cove Environmental Area is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased by Mill Cove, Inc., a nonprofit corporation formed to enhance the area for recreational and environmental education purposes. For more information on the area or upcoming events, visit



Produced by Vogt Media

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