ROCKINGHAM - The 12th annual Herrick's Cove Wildlife Festival, a get-together held each May in Rockingham, has become one of the most popular nature events in southern Vermont over the last decade.
Last week's unique wildlife festival offered various nature presentations, programs and activities featuring live animals, birding, guided nature walks, crafts, workshops, food, venders and more.
"Last year, our turnout yet was over 1,800 visitors," festival creator and co-chairwoman Alma Beals said in a post-event interview. "However, with the beautiful day we had last week, we had our best turnout yet, with over 2,000 visitors."
Ellen Allman is the other co-chairwoman.
Every year the Herrick's Cove Wildlife Festival brings together dozens outdoor, wildlife, environmental and conservation groups from all over New England and beyond.
Wildlife encounters were present during the entire day, with a diverse collection of live animals from many continents around the world. Visitors also learned about the Vermont Institute for Natural Science, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, the International Wolf Center, and more.
"In the beginning we only had a hand full of presenters and venders," according to Beals. "But now we have grown to include over 25 demonstrators, organizations and groups from all over New England. We are proud of how this event has continued to grow in popularity each year."
This year's event was co-sponsored by the Nature Museum, Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society and Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Partially funding was also provided by TransCanada, H.B. Plumbing and Heating, Ben & Jerrys Homemade, Luzenac America, Vermont Country Store and Eagle Optics.
"Our sponsors are what really makes this event happen," Beals said. "Without their help, it would become very difficult to keep this going and growing. We also receive donations from all our visitors which certainly helps keep our event fund replenished, and every dollar collected goes right back into the program."