Environmental center to open Saturday with lots of festivities


September 11, 1996|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MANCHESTER'S Environmental Education Center is opening Saturday, and new exhibits will be complemented with live animal demonstrations, children's activities, hikes and talks by wildlife experts.

From the center at the end of Wilhelm Drive, an early-riser bird hike begins at 8 a.m., and other activities will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Memberships are available to help support the center. Saturday's events are free. Rain date is Sept. 21.

The environmental education center, often called the nature center, opened in April 1995 in Pine Valley Park through the vigorous efforts of the Manchester Tree Commission. A new organization of volunteers, the Manchester Parks Foundation, now oversees this and other Manchester parks. Saturday's open house is the first work by the new foundation.

"I call it the environmental education center because the elementary school uses it as an outdoor classroom and we will have programs that educate people about the environment," said Walt Mathey, a member of the foundation's publicity committee.

He envisions the center as more than a museum, as an interactive place from which to present expert lectures, demonstrations and forays into the meadows, woods, and aquatic areas of the park. He enjoys children and the outdoors enough to sign up for a trail guide training session at Oregon Ridge this month.

The 8 a.m. bird hike will be led by Bob Ringler of the Carroll County Bird Club. Ringler might also talk about birds later in the day.

At 9 a.m., take a walk to encounter mushrooms and spore-bearing plants with Diane Hale, professor at Western Maryland College. She has been working with fellow parks foundation members Mathey and Elise Clark of Manchester to set up the new displays.

Children will enjoy sweeping the meadows for insect collection and identification with Charles Pierce at 11 a.m. Pierce teaches fifth grade at Manchester Elementary.

Janice Murray, known in Manchester for the life-sized model bull on her porch, will paint faces from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The art of falconry, which is the royal sport of hunting by trained bird, will be demonstrated by antiques dealer Jim Smith of Hampstead at noon.

Patapsco State Park Ranger Frank Ryan will talk on the whitetail deer at 1 p.m. "We have at least three near the center that I've spotted myself," said Mathey. "Young bucks with antlers just formed. In the park we've also seen horned owls, hawks in the air, a raccoon and a Cooper's hawk nesting that's since moved on. There's lots of groundhogs and rabbits."

Live animals on display Saturday at the center might include a ferret and rabbit.

At 2 p.m., Joyce Holmes, wildflower specialist at Cylburn Arboretum, will lead a wildflower walk.

Children can join a haiku poetry workshop with Karen Elliott Hudnet, who developed a program for Baltimore elementary schools.

"Because we're in our infancy, the center's totally unfinished inside. Because everyone's a volunteer, the progress is slow. So we're looking for more volunteers and activities to get people involved," Mathey said.

Park access is by a developing trail at the end of Wilhelm Drive off York Street. Parking is at the bottom of a large meadow. Although it is posted handicapped-accessible, Mathey cautions that woodland trails are not accessible to wheelchairs.

A Scout troop is expected to sell hot dogs and sodas.

Information: Walt Mathey, 239-9998.

Scout night

If there's a boy in your family, he might enjoy Cub Scouts, a year-round program for boys that includes hiking, crafts, leadership, games and community service.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., Scouts and Scout leaders will be available at most elementary schools in Carroll County to help your boy join in the fun.

In North Carroll, Scout Night will be at Spring Garden and Manchester elementary schools tomorrow and at Hampstead Elementary Tuesday. Call for other locations.

Information: Mike Azzarello, 239-6989.

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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