Centred Outdoors is partnering up with Millbrook Marsh Nature Center on Sunday and Wednesday to highlight the wonders of wetlands during free, guided hikes throughout the 62-acre site. The hikes offer natural entertainment for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Meet up with family and friends to explore birds, fish and plants along 1,600 feet of boardwalk. Bring along your binoculars or your camera for capturing the memory of a butterfly or blooming flower that catches your eye. Covered pavilions are available for picnicking before or after your adventure.
There are many things that make Millbrook Marsh Nature Center one of Centre County’s most popular destinations for all ages, including a firsthand look at 50 acres of wetlands in the midst of an ever-growing urban setting. These wetlands function naturally to prevent flooding and purify water that enters the public drinking water supply and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. There are four different types of wetlands — marshes, swamps, bogs and fens.
Millbrook Marsh is made up of marshes and fens, including a rare, calcetrous fen where alkaline water flows through limestone bedrock to create a unique ecosystem supporting rare plants and animals. ClearWater Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the wetlands to protect and conserve them from future development or any use that might impair their resilience or integrity. To learn more about this and the flora and fauna at Millbrook, join the educational tour at 3:30 p.m. Sunday or 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Those looking for a swifter pace and light information will enjoy the hike at 2 p.m. Sunday or 7 p.m. Wednesday.
More than an ecological wonder, Millbrook Marsh also holds a rich agricultural and archaeological history. The property formerly functioned as Penn State Farm No. 12, and you’ll notice the prominent barn and silo upon arriving. Long before it was a farm, the land was home to many prehistoric Native American sites, and so it is currently registered as part of the Houserville Archeological District.
Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is a nonprofit organization operated by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority. Its mission is to educate and inspire people about the natural world, and to instill a passion for the environment through science, history, culture and art. Since 2000, ClearWater Conservancy and MMNC have partnered together to support more than 25,000 student field trips to Millbrook Marsh through the Connections Program.
Centred Outdoors is hosted by ClearWater Conservancy and made possible by many partnering organizations that host this summer-long series of free, guided adventures for Centre County residents and visitors. Adventures take place every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. from now until Aug. 15. The finalized schedule is available at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can log in to create their own profile, RSVP and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates. Look to the Good Life every week at www.centredaily.com for complete details about the upcoming Centred Outdoors destination.
Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:
What: Centred Outdoors: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday; Hike at 2 p.m., educational tour at 3:30 p.m.
5-8 p.m. Wednesday; Hike at 5:30 p.m., educational tour at 7 p.m.
Where: 548 Puddington Road, State College, PA 16801
Parking: There is ample parking at this destination
What to bring:
A refillable water bottle
Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen
Comfortable walking shoes
Difficulty of hike: Easy
Next week’s adventure: Centred Outdoors will be visiting The Arboretum at Penn State on Sunday, Aug. 8 and Wednesday, Aug. 11
Andrea Murrell is the strategic communications coordinator at ClearWater Conservancy.