Kids meet the animals of Mentor Marsh

Cheyenne touches the soft fur of an opossum that lived in the marsh.

Cheyenne touches the soft fur of an opossum that lived in the marsh.

The pelts of an opossum, skunk, beaver, raccoon, rabbit, gray fox, and two red foxes—both a summer and thicker winter coat—covered the floor of the Mentor Headlands Library Branch on Saturday afternoon.

The kids sat in a semicircle around them and took turns looking at the beak of a great horned owl and a pair of turkey feathers.

None of them realized just how much wildlife lived so nearby.

Zach looks at the different types of feathers that grow on a turkey.

Zach looks at the different types of feathers that grow on a turkey.

Naturalist Becky Donaldson from the Mentor Marsh visited the library to tell the kids about the unique habitat that’s just a few miles from their home.

The marsh is unlike any other park in the region. More than 200 kinds of birds (including a pair of bald eagles) nest in its mixed oak swamp some time during the year.

During a walk, you can see staghorn sumac and Northern shovelers, rose hips and heron, gadwalls and wild raspberry.

And it’s free to visit and open from dawn to dusk every day. Its nature center is also open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Raven and Lucius check out the pelt of a red fox. In the winter, the fox's fur grows thicker.

Raven and Lucius check out the pelt of a red fox. In the winter, the fox’s fur grows thicker.

The marsh also offers hikes from 2 to 3:30 p.m. each Sunday.

On Oct. 19, a naturalist will lead a fall foliage hike through the marsh. On Oct. 26, there will be a spooky scavenger hunt that busts some common myths about local wildlife. Then, on Nov. 2, nature lovers can learn about white-tailed deer and even practice their tracking skills by looking for signs of deer along the marsh’s trails.

You can register for any of these hikes by calling the Mentor Marsh Nature Center at 440-257-0777 or by emailing rdonalds@cmnh.org.

Naturalist Becky Donaldson explains that while opossum do have prehensile tails, they don't hand upside down to sleep.

Naturalist Becky Donaldson explains that while opossum do have prehensile tails, they don’t hang upside down to sleep.

Becky Donaldson will return to our Headlands Branch in April to talk about bald eagles. It’s a little too soon to register for the program but never too soon to get excited.

You can visit our Facebook page for more fun photos from library programs. You can also check out Mentor Marsh’s Facebook page for some beautiful snapshots, if you’d like

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Renew your books up to 10 times at Mentor Library

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We know you meant to read that book awhile ago, but life gets busy. Sometimes, two weeks just isn’t long enough.

We at Mentor Public Library understand and want you to share as much time as you need with the books you love.

Until recently, you could renew a MPL book up to four times—as long as no one else had it on hold—for a total of eight weeks.

Anybody with a lawn to mow or dishes to wash or children to care for knows how quickly eight weeks can evaporate.

So we’ve changed our policy so you can now renew your books up to 10 times. That means you have up to 20 weeks with a book, as long as no one else puts it on hold.

Patrons will still have to renew their books manually—either by calling, via our website or at one of the our branches.

The change in MPL’s renewal policy is specifically for books—movies and CDs can still be renewed four times.

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Studio MPL and the art of the good hair day

Giselle laughs as she draws brightly colored shocks of hair during the Studio MPL meeting Monday.

Giselle laughs as she draws brightly colored shocks of hair during the Studio MPL meeting Monday.

The summer hiatus is over and Studio MPL is back!

Oh, you haven’t heard of Studio MPL?

It’s Mentor Library’s art club for kids in first through fifth grade, and it’s six scoops of awesome.

They’ve made sun catchers, painted sunsets, weaved and even garnered inspiration from Jackson Pollock.

Kelsey focuses on her pink and magenta locks.

Kelsey focuses on her pink and magenta locks.

This month, we talked about art as a reflection of who we are—and we did it using hair. We gave the young artists colored pencils, markers and other art supplies, and we told them to draw a person’s hair; and the hair would represent what’s going on inside of them.

And the kids got more creative than we could imagine. One girl made her hair a series of googly eyes. A boy turned his artwork into two necklaces—one that he could wear and another for his grandma.

Darin packs a lot of bright colors close together to create contrast.

Darin packs a lot of bright colors close together to create contrast.

Studio MPL meets on the third Monday of each month.

Next month’s session will be Oct. 20 at our Main Branch. You can register for it here.

For more photos from our Studio MPL session, check out our Facebook page. For more information on programs and events for children, teens and adults at Mentor Public Library, visit www.mentorpl.org.

Ella's hair looks like a rainbow with its layers of color.

Ella’s hair looks like a rainbow with its layers of color.

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Mentor Library is going to the dogs (and that’s OK)

Cara reads "We Are in a Book" to Fragg during the most recent session of Paws to Read.

Cara reads “We Are in a Book” to Fragg during the most recent session of Paws to Read.

You’ve probably heard of Paws to Read, our program that pairs young readers with therapy dogs.

You may have even thought, “That would be perfect for my kid.”

Well, now is the perfect time to find out.

We are holding our final Paws to Read sessions this year on Wednesday evening, Oct. 15, at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch, but we still have a few openings available as of today. (Today, in this instance, is Thursday, Oct.9.) But these openings won’t last until Oct. 15, so you should call Mentor Library if you’re interested.

You can register your child for Paws to Read by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Reading time for Theron is scratch-behind-the-ears time for Hayley.

Reading time for Theron is scratch-behind-the-ears time for Hayley.

Paws to Read is for readers between the ages of six and 12 years old.

If your child can read independently but doesn’t like to do it in front of other people, you might try signing them up for Paws to Read. The program works well for dog lovers, but it’s also helped some kids who are scared of dogs get over their phobia.

For more photos from Paws to Read, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

Diva listens as Claire reads to her.

Diva listens as Claire reads to her.

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Discover More About Where You Live: Mentor Marsh

The Newhous Pond in Mentor Marsh after the foliage has started to turn for the season.

The Newhous Pond in Mentor Marsh after the foliage has started to turn for the season

We are fortunate to live in this beautiful community.

We are surrounded by scenic city, county, state and even national parks. But how often do we think about or visit them?

Take, for example, the Mentor Marsh. It’s nearly 700 acres are unlike any other habitat in the world. It provides a home to more than 200 kinds of bird, including the blue-winged teal, yellow warbler, American wigeon, gadwall, heron, American black duck, red-winged blackbirds, Northern shoveler and hooded merganser.

It combines a mixed oak swamp forest—an increasingly rare kind of habitat—with the largest phragmite marsh in the state. There are also picturesque walking trails that pass through thickets of staghorn sumac, rose hips, wild raspberry and more.

Kids can learn more about the Mentor Marsh when Naturalist Becky Donaldson visits Mentor Library’s Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch on 2 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 11. (You can register for the program on our website.) Donaldson will have hands-on items for kids to touch and explore as well as audio sounds of the marsh wildlife.

She’ll also be talking about how the Marsh prepares for the winter.

Donaldson works for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, who manages the park along with the state of Ohio. Her talk is free and open to everybody.

For more online information about Mentor Marsh, you can visit:

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