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Environmental Education Expo

I suspect most locals are aware of what the Montour Preserve has to offer in the way of outdoor recreation:
– A lake for boating and angling
– Picnic areas,
– Hiking trails,
– A great nature center loaded with wildlife mounts and exhibits.

The 640-acre nature preserve, a part of the former PPL power facility and now owned by Talen Energy, is overseen by the Montour Area Recreation Commission. Like a lot of people, I have hiked the trails, fished the lake, and visited the nature center. Fortunately, the facility remains open to the public and continues to offer more interaction with nature.

Just last week, I spoke with John Zaktansky, Executive Director of the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, and he informed me of an upcoming event at the preserve that I’m sure would be interesting for adults and especially fun and informative for young people.

John played a major role in putting together the Vernal Pool Environmental Education Partnership, which strives to connect people to our natural resources in creative new ways at the Montour Preserve.

As a result, on February 10th, the public is welcome to attend the Environmental Education Expo at the Montour Preserve. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it’s all free of any charges. You are welcome to bring your family for all kinds of hands-on activities for all ages.

More than 20 interactive booths will be on hand. I don’t have room to list all of them and what they are offering, but listed below are just some of the activities you and your kids can take part in.

The Montour Area Recreation Commission will have a display previewing their maple sugar shack program coming up on February 24th.

The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum will have a booth on invasive vs. native species with a few live specimens.

Get Lost Photography will have a booth on underwater photography with hands-on camera usage.

Wild Trout Man, Dr. Joseph Simons III, will offer a special fly-tying and knot-tying experience.

Seven Mountains Audubon will have a display featuring different bird species of our area with handouts and an opportunity to build a bird call.

Central PA Rock and Mineral Club will provide a hands-on exploration of fossils connected to the preserve.

Susquehanna STEM to the Skies will have a display throughout the expo with an interactive drone experience.

The Columbia-Montour Chamber of Commerce will have a table at the expo and be running a special scavenger hunt.

Oh wait, there’s more! The PA Fish and Boat Commission will have a booth with a hands-on experience related to our aquatic ecosystem.

Clyde Peeling Reptiland will have a display with a few live reptiles to engage with.

Paper Pie books will have a table of nature and environmental learning books.

The PA Game Commission will offer a hands-on fur demonstration geared to elementary-aged students, and the Susquehanna Council BSA will have a booth with a seed-planting experience and nature activities.

If you are looking for something to do with your kids during these cold winter days, a visit to the Montour Preserve looks like a pretty good idea to me.