MANSFIELD - The Mill Cove Inc. group announced it will be providing grants for Science and Education during a memorandum of understanding signing at Mansfield University recently.
The memorandum of understanding signed by Charlie Fox, president of Mill Cove, and Allan Golden, interim president of the university, states that its purpose is to "promote, publicize and utilize the Mill Cove Environmental Area as an ecological experiment station for the university to use to teach and perform research."
The university also agreed to promote Mill Cove by name in communication materials and websites as an educational and recreational area open to the public but also designated an ecological experiment station utilized by the university.
The term of the MOU is three years, beginning Dec. 1 and effective until Dec. 1, 2015.
The purpose of the $300 to $500 grants are to "encourage and facilitate knowledge of and use of the Mill Cove Environmental Area by university students and or the greater Tioga County community.
Any student of group of students enrolled at the university that seeks conduct research and activities that promote the utilization or understanding of the Mill Cove Environmental Area is eligible to apply for the grants.
Applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Mill Cove board of directors.
More information about the program can be found at www.millcovearea.org.
Mill Cove Environmental Education Area, leased from the Army Corps of Engineers in 1999, is managed for group education, recreation and research.
The property also is managed for wildlife propagation and observation, hunting, fishing and research.
Mill Cove makes the facilities available to a variety of groups and organizations engaged in education, environmental activities and research.
The entire area is open to the public for hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities except when organized activities are in progress.
In 2012, the first Earth Day was held at Mill Cove April 21, sponsored by Mill Cove, Dominion Transmission, the Tioga County Visitor's Bureau and the university.
The day included a youth fishing derby, BB gun and muzzleloader shoot and archery shoot.
About 30 vendors were on hand to make presentations on rattlesnakes, chain saw carving and mountain man demonstrations. About 300 visitors participated in the event, including speakers from the county, an environmental scientist from the Susquehanna River Basin Authority, and the director of people and conservation from the World Wildlife Fund.
During the last week in July, the National Rifle Association's Youth Hunter Education Challenge was held at Mill Cove for the ninth time, hosting 313 participants from 13 states. It is estimated more than 22,000 shots were fired by participants this year.
Mill Cove and the NRA have worked together for many years to improve the YHEC event, and this year was no exception.
The NRA spent more than $13,000 in improving the road into the area and has provided funding to construct eight portable pavilions for use in various competition areas.
NRA Vice President Alan Coors presented awards at the closing ceremony, held in the university's Straughn Hall.
Another major activity at Mill Cove this year was the construction and planting of a butterfly garden by Mansfield Girl Scout Troop 41408.
Mill Cove Vice President David Flesch assisted the Scouts in their planting of more than 100 plants of various varieties.
For 2013, Mill Cove plans to continue with its improvement of the area, including completing the trail from the pavilion to the new comfort station; completing the trail system including adequate signage and construction of a second comfort station near the firing ranges.
Mill Cove also wants to sponsor another Earth Day event in conjunction with the university.