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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Springfest is Saturday, May 20 at Hills Creek State Park

photo provided
Deb Dom is shown on her stand-up paddleboard and Mike Seidel in a kayak. Both are volunteers with the Mansfield University Kayak Club and will be assisting people of all ages interested in trying out paddleboards, kayaks and canoes during Springfest on May 20.
Free, family-friendly outdoor activities for all ages are being offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 11th Annual Springfest on Saturday, May 20 at Hills Creek State Park, seven miles northeast of Wellsboro.

There will be lots to do with stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and crafts for youngsters at Hills Creek. All equipment will be provided free. Mansfield University Kayak Club members, other volunteers and park staff will be assisting.

Smokey Bear will stop in for a visit and have some great giveaways.

Fishing poles, bait and lures will be provided free to those who want to learn basic fishing skills in Hills Creek Lake. Fishing licenses are required for anyone 16 and older.

Youth will have the opportunity to experience fishing on Hills Creek Lake with help provided by Jim Mucci of Hills Creek State Park and John Kaercher of Little Pine State Park.

Young anglers and the young-at-heart will also be able to learn how to tie a fly. Trout Unlimited Tiadaghton Chapter #688 volunteers will provide fly tying materials and equipment so that anyone who wants to learn how to tie a fly can do it for free. They will also provide fly rods to practice casting at different distances and targets.

Members of the Mountain Modelaires R/C Airplane Club of Wellsboro will have a display of radio controlled airplanes, helicopters, and quadcopters and be available to answer questions. Children, eight and older, can assemble and decorate a foam model glider to take home. A radio controlled flight simulator will be available for all ages to try and members will fly small electric helicopters, airplanes and quadcopters, weather permitting.

At 1 p.m., Chandra Weigel will read "Daniel Finds a Poem" by Micha Archer to preschoolers to 10 year olds. It is this year's Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child selection and is about a young boy who enjoys going to his local park. He sees a sign "Poetry in the Park" but doesn't know what it means so he asks different animals about it. There will also be sink and float activities that include building boats and experimenting; creating a large map mural of Hills Creek State Park and writing poems.

At the craft station, Grand Canyon FFA members will assist youngsters in putting together marble-sized seed balls using clay, earth and wildflower seeds to take home and plant.

The Tioga County Visitors Bureau will be giving out free information about things to do and see in the area from the tailgate of the bureau’s Ford Escape, which is shrink-wrapped in a giant colorful photo of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Bob and Beth McDonald, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water safety volunteers at Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes, will lead water safety games and give free handouts on water safety to children and adults.

Go on a self-led hike using park maps as a guide.

Children and adults are welcome to bring their bikes and wear helmets, as required by law, and bike at the park.
photo provided
Kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards will be available for people to try at the 11th Annual Springfest Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hills Creek State Park, near Wellsboro. Shown are: Mike Seidel and Deb Dom (on left), volunteers with the Mansfield University Kayak Club, with Tim Morey (right), Hills Creek State Park Complex natural resource specialist who organizes Springfest.

The concession stand will be open during the event so the public can purchase hot dogs, hamburgers, beverages and ice cream.

At 8 a.m., Gary Tyson, Tiadaghton Audubon Society field trip coordinator, will lead a bird walk. It is free and open to anyone who wants to go. The spring migration is in full swing. Walkers will see many colorful birds, such as Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings, and a variety of wood warblers. Meet at 7:55 a.m. at the Hills Creek State Park office at 111 Spillway Road. The pace is slow and trails are easy and relatively level. Wear dark clothing and waterproof or water-resistant footwear. Visit or Facebook.

To learn more about Springfest or for directions, email or call 570-724-4246.

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