Potter County residents are asked to turn out in force on Tuesday, May 21, to welcome this year’s participants in the local Project Healing Waters project, being conducted by members of Trout Unlimited. Military personnel who have been wounded, injured, or disabled will be ushered into Potter County with a motorcycle escort and will be joined by World War II veterans and other special guests on Tuesday. Those who would like to join the welcome in Coudersport are encouraged to borrow U.S. flags from the Commissioners Office at the Gunzburger Building and wave the flags when the procession moves through the county seat at about 2 pm.
Here is the schedule for Tuesday that was finalized this week by God’s Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited: 11:30 am, bus with parade participants leaves Coudersport Borough Office for Roadside Inn parking lot in Shinglehouse; 12:45, procession moves to Oswayo Valley High School, greeted by high school band; 1:20, leave for Coudersport on Rt. 44 (Northern Potter High School Band will greet at Jones Produce Stand on Rt. 44-49); 2 pm, arrive in Coudersport on Main Street to Chestnut Street, turning right on Eulalia Street, left onto West Street, right to East Second/Main Street intersection, and on to Rt. 872 intersection at Ladona (Galeton High School Band will perform at corner of Rts. 6 and 872); reception at Coudersport American Legion Post 192 to follow; 3 pm, leave Post 192 for First Fork Lodge in Costello (Austin Volunteer Fire Department will greet group at Odin and escort into Austin); 3:45, arrive at First Fork Lodge; 4:30, bus will leave First Fork Lodge to return parade participants to Coudersport Borough Office at 5 pm.
Goal of Project Healing Waters is to aid in soldiers’ physical and emotional recovery by introducing or rebuilding the skills of fly fishing and fly tying. Equipment and materials are provided. This year’s sixth annual Project Healing Waters will be headquartered at Big Moore’s Run Fish and Game Preserve through Friday, May 24. Fifteen individuals from the Erie, Bath and Batavia VA hospitals are coming. TU is dedicating this year’s event to all World War II veterans and encouraging all WWII vets to participate in Tuesday’s escort/parade through Potter County.
Plans are coming together for the annual Potter County Fair, which will open for its weeklong run at the fairgrounds in Millport on July 28. All of the traditional popular attractions will return. The Fair Board honored Sabrina Williams, daughter of Tom and Patsy Williams, as winner of the 2013 Potter County Fair button design contest. Collectible magnets and buttons bearing the design will be sold to raise money for the fair. Sabrina is a junior at Northern Potter High School.
Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron and Potter counties will be abuzz with activity on Monday and Tuesday (May 20-21) as approximately 30 scientists – many of them known worldwide – convene to share their knowledge with students from several area schools. Sinnemahoning BioBlitz will be much more than an outdoor classroom. Species that are discovered and analyzed and other data that are collected will be logged as part of ongoing research being conducted by, among others, the National Geographic Society. Organizers hope to raise awareness of natural resources and biological diversity, promote environmental stewardship, and perhaps persuade some of the students of today to become the conscientious scientists of tomorrow.
Students will collaborate with experts to identify as many kinds of organisms as possible. One of the more elusive creatures they’ll be out to find is an eastern hellbender (above). Researchers are excited about the variety of habitats at the park, including the East Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek, some Exceptional Value and Class A tributaries, an impoundment, vernal pools, ponds, swamps, marshes, grassy fields, woodlands and more.
The public is welcome to observe. BioBlitz kicks off at 9 am Monday in the park’s Wildlife Center and concludes at about 2 pm Tuesday. Scientists and naturalists are coming from museums, universities, state agencies, and conservation groups to support the project. Many will camp at the park and some will be on duty through the night to track nocturnal species. Click here for the Sinnemahoning BioBlitz website to learn more.
Primary election polls will be open across Potter County from 7 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, May 21. Only registered Republicans and Democrats may vote. A list of offices and candidates to appear on the ballot in each voting district can be found on the county website, pottercountypa.net (click on Elections/Voter Registration). Those adults who have not cast a ballot in the last five years or more have been purged from the rolls. Anyone seeking to check eligibility or having other questions should call 274-8467 or use a website, votespa.com. The state’s proposed photo ID requirement is not in effect, but poll workers will be asking for an ID to help get voters in the habit of presenting one, as the law is likely to be implemented in the near future.
Township supervisors, borough council members and municipal secretaries met with the Potter County Commissioners and the county Planning Department on Wednesday at the Gunzburger Building auditorium. Purpose of the session was to informally discuss ways municipalities can partner with the county government for mutual benefit. Among the topics that were covered was the use of the internet, including the county’s website at pottercountypa.net, to disseminate township and borough information. Several municipalities expressed an interest in establishing their own websites to improve communication and constituent service and access to local government resources. Township and borough leaders also received new maps produced by the Planning Department.
Oswayo Valley claimed first place in the annual God’s Country Envirothon at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, earning a berth in the state finals next Tuesday and Wednesday at Juniata College. Potter County Conservation District sponsored the local environmental knowledge competition. About 75 students from Austin, Coudersport, Galeton, Oswayo Valley and Northern Potter participated. Shown from left are Commissioner Doug Morley, who serves on the Conservation District board of directors; winning team members Bailey Kemp, Cole Mix, Ryan West, Arthur Dickerson and Barrett Kemp; and team advisor Bruce Kemp, biology teacher at Oswayo Valley. A Northern Potter team was first runner-up, while a Coudersport team placed third.