Darke County Parks receives funding from ODNR

Earlier this year, the Darke County Park District was fortunate to receive boating safety education grant funds from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Watercraft. These funds, a portion of the total amount of nearly $250,000 awarded to 13 communities, will be used purchase updated kayaks, a new storage boat trailer and safety equipment. This equipment will allow the park district to continue to offer ACA-certified workshops on kayaking skills and safety to ensure local residents are safe while exploring Ohio’s waterways.

Thank you ODNR and we’ll see you on the water!

It's spring! Does that baby animal need rescued?

During the spring season, young animals are abundant! Sometimes when we encounter a “baby” animal, it may appear to be lost or injured… but is it really in need of our assistance? We all want to do the best thing to help… Check out THESE 5 Tips to determine if you need to help young mammals this spring!

Still not sure, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 and a naturalist will give you some suggestions.

Native Plant Sale - May 11th

Our annual plant sale returns to Shawnee Prairie Nature Center. Favorite flowers of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators are the focus this year. Please consider planting milkweed to help provide habitat for the struggling Monarch population.

Pre-sale forms and payment must be turned in by April 30th.

Plants are available for pre-sale only (a few select plants may be available during the sale).

Fill out this form with the number of plants you would like and return it, along with your payment, to the address on the reverse side. The Native Plant Sale will occur at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center (4267 OH-502, Greenville). Pre-sale plants must be picked up during Saturday, May 11th between 10am and 4pm.

Please note: 1) Any plants not picked up by May 13th will be considered a donation to the Park District and will be planted within our prairies.

2) In the event the minimum of any plant is not met, we will try to replace it with a similar species to the best of our ability.

Cash or check only. Thank You.

Download & Complete your Pre-sale form HERE

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 www.darkecountyparks.org 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.