Plan now for summer camps!

Since many are busy planning their summer vacations, we've included a list of the summer camps for June-August!  These are a great way to give your kids a week of day-long activities in nature and away from the tv screens!  More details will be released as we approach the summer-camp season, but for now, here are the dates and topics for each age group!  You can call TODAY to reserve your campers, 937-548-0165.  Registration is REQUIRED for all camps.

  • Ages 6-7: June 25-29: 10a-12p daily
    • Egg-citing Science - $65
    • This “Eggciting” camp will focus on fun “eggsperiments” and everything egg in nature including bird eggs, frog eggs, insect eggs, and snakes.
  • Ages 6-7: July 16-20: 10a-12p daily
    • Sticks & Stones - $65
    • Sticks and Stones will take into the field as we explore, build and the nature around us.  
  • Ages 7-11: June 11-15: 10a-12p daily
    • Stamp Into Nature - $65
    • Stamps, ink pad, and log book in hand!  It sounds like you are ready to hit the trails and start Letterboxing.  Letterboxing is an outdoor hobby which combines hiking, orienteering, treasure hunting, and puzzle solving.  Campers will get the change to create their own trail name, carve stamps and go letterboxing.  
  • Ages 8-9: June 18-22: 10a-12p daily
    • Earth Ninjas - $75
    • Join us as we calm our minds like Jedi's, learn to move silently with the rhythm of the forest, and activate body senses through fun training games and wild nature play.  Discover how to blend into the landscape using camouflage and by mimicking wild animals.  Hone your skills with exciting missions and challenges as you earn the title of Earth Ninja!
  • Ages 8-9: July 23-27: 10a-12p daily
    • Mad Scientists - $75
    • Science is all around us! We’ll study and re-create a variety of exciting experiments we discover in the field. Expect hikes to discover a natural element and classroom experiment that may boom, bubble, grow and more!
  • Ages 8-12: July 5-6: Thurs 1pm - Fri. 11am (single overnight)
    • Nature at Night - $45
    • There is so much to see and do in the park after dark!  This single overnight event will give a quick introduction to camping while being close to modern facilities for comfort.  After setting up camp, there will be a dinner over the campfire, a night hike, games and more.  Campers will go home after we eat breakfast and break down camp the following day.  Don't miss this exciting adventure at Shawnee Prairie!
  • Ages 10-12: June 11-15: 1p-4p daily (single overnight experience)
    • Voyagers - $95
    • Become a voyager!  We’ll spend the week learning to paddle canoes and kayaks, navigate by compass and set up a tent camp. New games, locations and activities will make this camp exciting for all. There will be a single overnight lakeside experience with this camp.
  • Ages 13-15: July 9-13: 10a-4p daily (single overnight experience)
    • Outdoor Adventure - $135
    • Get outside with Darke County Parks. Our goal for the week is to have great adventures in the outdoors! We’ll explore nature in a more active role during this camp. In the years past we have zip-lined, mountain biked, kayaked, and rock climbed. Register today for this adventure based camp! There will be a single overnight experience with this camp.
    • (There was originally a pricing misprint in the printed copy of the newsletter, sorry for any inconvience.)

Native Plant Sale 2018

Our annual plant sale returns Saturday, May 19th from 10am-3pm at the 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, so download your order form now!

Winter Bird Hike

Join us Saturday for the last Winter Bird Hike!  We'll hike the trails of Shawnee Prairie beginning at 9am for our "Winter Bird Hike".  Bring binoculars if you have them, otherwise, we have a few pair to let you borrow.  
Call to register for the Hand-feed a Chickadee program the same day for a "birdy-Saturday"!

Meet at Shawnee Prairie Preserve's Nature Center.  (FREE)

Look at the Moon!

Look at the Moon! 
Lunar Eclipse this morning!

Sadly in Ohio, we'll only have a chance to see a portion of the eclipse... 
Penumbral Eclipse begins: Jan 31 at 5:51:13 am Visible: Yes
Partial Eclipse begins: Jan 31 at 6:48:27 am Visible: Yes
Full Eclipse begins: Jan 31 at 7:51:47 am Visible: No, below the horizon

Public Notice

The Darke County Park District is proceeding with the construction of Phase VI of the Tecumseh Multi-Use Trail which will eventually cross Darke County from the Village of Bradford through the City of Greenville and on to the Village of Union City, Ohio.  The potential for trail linkages to the largest paved regional network of trails in the United States through Miami County to the East; and to the Cardinal Greenway Trail Project in Indiana to the West was one impetus for the Park District to pursue this project for the good of the citizens of Darke County.  Phase VI of the Tecumseh Trail Project is a joint project with the City Of Greenville through an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant and will take the trail from the end of the already finished section of the Greenville Creek Trail at the Greenville City Park entrance on East Main Street in Greenville through the Greenville City Park, onto Darke County Park District Land at Prairie Ridge Meadow on Wilson Drive, across North Broadway and will follow unused rail property to the Corporation Limit of the City of Greenville near the intersection of that rail property with St. Rt. 49 North.  The Park District is requesting public comment concerning this project for at least the next 14 days or until January 31, 2018. More information or maps can be obtained and comments may be made in writing to the Darke County Park District at its offices at 4267 State Route 502 W., PO Box 801, Greenville, OH  45331 or through their website at and go to the “Connect With Us” page to “Contact Us”.            

Let's go to Australia!

Join us for an amazing "virtual trip" to Australia!  We'll travel digitally to see and chat with a team from the Reef HQ Aquarium as they introduce us to the land "down under" and their open-air coral reed exhibit!  We'll gather at the Nature Center at 7pm on the 1st of February.  

Registration required, call 937-548-0165 to reserve your seat.  (FREE) ((scuba masks optional)).

Winter Bird Hike

Welcome to the first Winter Bird Hike of 2018!  We'll hike the trails of Shawnee Prairie (or possibly beyond if there are snowy owls, other winter rarities nearby!) beginning at 3pm (note the late start time) for our "Winter Bird Hike".  Bring binoculars if you have them, otherwise, we have a few pair to let you borrow.  

Meet at Shawnee Prairie Preserve's Nature Center.  (FREE)