Online Program Registration is almost here!

We have improved your program registration experience! We have transitioned to a new online registration system, making it much easier to register for all of the Parks’ programs from your computer, smart phone or tablet. Don’t worry though, phone and walk-in registration are still available! This new system will also allow us to accept credit card payments for both program registration and select event purchases (check and cash are still accepted).

In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, we recommend you hop online to now to register your household with our system. Taking this one-time step now will save you time in the future when you register for programs. We are very excited about this new system. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask Robb at the Nature Center.

Waffle Breakfast & Maple Sugaring Tours

Freezing nights and thawing days are the start to a bottle of maple syrup! This early spring event at Shawnee Prairie offers guided tours through history and science as we learn the process of turning sap into syrup. After our tour of the woods, we’ll visit the sugar shack where you can warm up in the steam-filled evaporator room as the sap spends countless hours boiling down to syrup. Be sure to stop by the log house or blacksmith shop to visit with our pioneer volunteers, and the Nature Center gift shop (full of maple goodies) to complete your day at the prairie. Tours will begin at 8am.

The Friends of the Parks will once again be serving up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee, and pure maple syrup for just a $6 donation towards the Friends’ mission! Children ages 3-12 are only a $3 donation and those under 3 years old are free! After breakfast, take a maple syrup tour, grab some fantastic maple-themed baked goods, enter the 50/50 raffle, and visit the log house historical area. Stop by the Nature Center to purchase your pre-sale tickets, or tickets can be bought at the door. Breakfast will be served from 8am-12pm.

Level One Snow Advisory

Please be aware Darke Co is currently on a Level One Snow Advisory . While Parks remain open, parking lots will not be frequently maintained and trails could potentially become hazardous. Due to the expected high winds and current freezing rain, falling branches and/or trees could become a very real possibility. Please exercise caution. 

Holzapfel Preserve added to Darke Co. Parks

Holzapfel Preserve added to Darke County Park District

 Darke County Parks recently was gifted a 2-acre parcel of land by Ms. Elaine Holzapfel. Ms. Holzapfel has created and worked on this tract of land for well over 10 years creating an arboretum, a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees, in anticipation of this gift. “I have thought about this preserve for several years now and have worked to have an arboretum-type of plot in the middle of Greenville for all to enjoy. “Ms. Holzapfel stated. This gift of land will be used for educational purposes with an emphasis for the local Greenville School District as a hands-on example for the stewards of tomorrow.  “The District hopes to add tree identification placards and to offer tree identification classes for the public and students in the future” states Chief Naturalist Robb Clifford.  The Holzapfel Preserve will be opened this summer, once a small parking lot is able to be constructed off of Meadow Lane. Park District Director, Roger M. Van Frank explains “Gifts of this nature are what makes up the majority of Darke County Parks. This will make the thirteenth park in our District which range from 122 acres to 2 acres.  Each park has its own unique meaning to the County Park System and to the park visitors using those areas.  We are fortunate to have gifts such as the Holzapfel Preserve given to the District. Thank You Elaine!”

 If you would like further information on this or any other upcoming programming, please contact the Darke County Parks at 937-548-0165 or online at

Pictured (left-to-right) are Park Board Members, Roger Brocious, John Cook, Director Roger Van Frank, Elaine Holzapfel, Bob Nelson and Park board Member Tina White during the acceptance and sign unveiling during the Park District Board of Trustees meeting in December 2018.

Sponsor a Bucket is Back!

Support Darke County Parks, and sponsor a bucket!  Each sponsor will have his/her name placed on a sap bucket along the trail during the Maple Sugarin’ Festival on March 2, 2019. 

  • “Amber Grade” ($25) sponsors will receive a 250 ml bottle of Darke County Parks maple syrup in a decorative   maple leaf-shaped glass bottle. 

  • “Fancy Grade” ($40) sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets to the Waffle & Sausage Breakfast on March 2nd from 8AM-noon in addition to a 250 ml bottle of Darke County Parks maple syrup in a decorative maple leaf-shaped glass bottle. 

  Name: _______________________________

          (Print as you would like it to appear on the sap bucket.)

   Phone Number: _________________________

   E-mail Address: _________________________

Please return form & donation  by February 15th.

Make checks payable to: Darke County Park District, c/o Naturalist Staff, P.O. Box 801, Greenville OH 45331

Click Here to Download PDF Form

Nature Center CLOSED - Jan 12, 2019

The Nature Center and Park Offices will be closed today due to the forecasted snowfall in an effort to keep people off the roadways. 

Winter Bird Hike and Native Animal Encounter are cancelled. Stay warm and we’ll see you next time. 

Trails will be operating under “use at your own risk” and parking areas will not be plowed at this time. Stay safe everyone.