BARTON, N.Y. - If it crawled, wriggled or hopped, it was worth a closer look for kids along the Susquehanna River on Monday.

Over 20 kids were on hand at the Barton Pavilion to take part in the Carantouan Greenway's Critter Crawl Investigation and learn more about the creatures that live in and along the river.

"These events are designed to stimulate interest in nature," said Marty Borko, one of the organizers for the Greenway. "We want them to learn to respect and understand the environment. The Susquehanna River ties us all together, so it's important that we understand what lives along the river and how it all affects us. So by sponsoring these programs that allow the kids to look at these critters and study them, we teach the children the importance of respecting the environment."

After catching the critters, the children were able to look at them under microscopes or just observe them moving about. After the observations, all of the critters were returned to the wild.

Formed in 1995, Carantouan Greenway works "to educate and connect our communities to their natural resources. We operate as a public steward in the Upper Susquehanna Watershed, focusing in Tioga and Chemung counties in New York and Bradford County in Pennsylvania. The Greenway provides a variety of educational and outreach programs for all ages, with an enthusiastic core group of board members and volunteers," according to a statement on its website.

The biggest prize of the day was a female wolf spider which was engorged with a full egg sac. The spider proved so difficult to catch, that one might suppose it had radioactive blood, but once corralled, it was the center of attention for the kids, even the ones who shied away from it while it was loose.

Isaiah Hadlock, 9, of Waverly, considered himself a winner on Monday.

"I got four frogs, a crayfish and two beetles," he said excitedly. "I caught everything I wanted. I had to catch the crawfish by the antenna."

But a quick glance into his tub nearly revealed a tragedy.

"I think a frog ate one of my beetles," he said, before discovering the missing insect.

For more information on Carantouan Greenway, visit www.carantouangreenway.org.