PETERSBURG-Spring has sprung, which means the annual native plant festival and birding cup at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center aren't far behind.
Shaver's Creek, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society, will co-host its fourth Central Pennsylvania Native Plant Festival and Sale on Saturday, May 3. Visitors can enjoy programs about plants, gardening and birds of prey. Native plants and local food from vendors are also available for purchase.
This year's talks and walks focus on creating a backyard habitat for wildlife and managing native and invasive plants. State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham will give a talk on "Barking Up the Right Trees" at 11 a.m.
Eric Burkhart, Shaver's Creek plant science program director, said the goal of the festival is to educate and encourage the public to use native plants in the landscape, and to foster an appreciation for our native plant heritage.
More information is available at ShaversCreek.org/NativePlantFest online.
That same weekend, teams of bird watchers will compete in 17th Annual Birding Cup, a fundraiser aimed to raise awareness about bird life in central Pennsylvania.
The competition will last from 7 p.m. May 2 to 7 p.m. May 3 and prizes will be awarded for the most bird species spotted in a 24-hour period.
Money raised at this year's competition will go toward a new all-season dock at Lake Perez for boating and aquatic study, an easy-to-follow trail that links the dock with Sunset Point Pavilion and the point trail, and to stabilizing, removing invasive plant species, and re-vegetating the shoreline to prevent erosion.
More information on the Birding Cup is available at ShaversCreek.org/BirdingCup online.