Wetlands event series kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Murrysville park
Events centered around the wetlands area at Murrysville Community Park will kick off during Memorial Day weekend and continue through late July.
The summer program series will begin May 25, as naturalist Susan Miller of Plum leads participants on a walk to check nests and eggs at purple martin houses and bluebird boxes, counting and recording the number of eggs.
“The purple martin parents won’t mind but we’ll be efficient in order to be considerate of them,” Miller said. “The four bluebird boxes at the wetlands were new last year, and one was a nest box for a brood of five baby bluebirds. Let’s see if the bluebirds choose another box to build their nest this year.”
The 11 a.m. walk will also include a project estimating the age of an old tree near the parking lot by measuring its girth and plugging it into a mathematical formula.
• June 8: Wilma Light of the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania will give a talk on bluebirds. There will also be a free drawing for a bluebird box.
• June 29: Pennsylvania Game Commission Warden Mike Papinchak will give a presentation on coyotes, which are spotted regularly on trail cameras throughout Murrysville. Papinchak will discuss the difference between the tracks of coyotes and domesticated dogs.
Also, Jeff Hunt of the Purple Martin Preservation Alliance will discuss the martin houses in the park and the species’ decade of residence there.
• July 13: Amanda Smith, Southwest Region education specialist for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, will host a presentation on frogs, turtles and salamanders which will include live specimens. Miller said six different frog species can be found in the park, along with red-spotted newts, snapping turtles and Eastern box turtles.
• July 27: Marcy Cunkleman will discuss local butterfly species and the host plants that attract them. Cunkleman will show and explain the insect’s life cycle, and there will be a free drawing for a butterfly cage.
All programs will start at 10 a.m. except the May 25 walk, and participants will gather at the wetlands pavilion in the park, 4056 Wiestertown Road in Murrysville.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .