29 March, 2015
General Program Info
Most programs are free. If a fee is charged, it will be indicated in the program description. Most outdoor activities are conducted rain or shine. Please come prepared for the weather and the activity. Unless otherwise stated, children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Limited space programs require pre-registration. Please register by calling the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or email us.
Three months at a glance program calendar
Children's Programs
Parent & Preschooler Adventures
Hour long, hands-on nature programs designed for parents and their 2-5 year olds. Wed. classes are for 2-3 year olds, and Thurs. classes are for 4-5 year olds. $2 fee for craft materials. Pre-registration is required.
This season's programs
Park P.A.L.S
Morning hands-on nature programs designed for children grades K-2nd. Programs are held the second Saturday of each month, and are supervised by adult volunteers. $3 fee for snack and craft. Pre-registration is required.
This season's programs
Junior Naturalists
Afternoon hands-on nature programs designed for children in Grades 3-6. Programs are held the fourth Saturday of each month. $3 fee for materials. Pre-registration is required.
This season's programs
Day Camps
Summer Camps are week long day camps that are offered in June, July or August. Age groups are 6-7 year olds, 8-9 year olds, 10-12 year olds and 13-15 year olds. Fee is dependant on camp level. Themes change every year.
Summer camp info
School Programs
Nature's Classroom
School field trip programs designed to supplement Ohio's K-6 science curriculum. $3 fee/student. Teachers and chaperones are free. Speak with a Naturalist to schedule.
Program themes by grade level
Naturalist In The Classroom
Classroom visits by a DCP naturalist for teachers who participate in Nature's Classroom. Natural history themes focus on native wildlife and cultures. Available to all teachers during the months of November to March. There is a $2/student fee.
Program themes by grade level
Outdoor Skills & Staying Fit
Outdoor Skills
Learn a new outdoor hobby, without having to buy all the equipment! These programs put you under the guidance of local experts, and put the right equipment in your hands. Some programs have a materials fee.
This season's programs
Canoeing / Kayaking Adventures
Weather dependent canoe outings for beginning and experienced paddlers. All equipment and transportation are provided with a fee of $5 - $10 per person.
This season's floats
Geocaching In The Parks
We'll provide the info and equipment you need to get started on a high-tech treasure hunt. Rent a GPS for $2 to find five "caches" at Shawnee. Go to the geocaching website, enter zipcode 45331, and discover our other caches.
Geocaching.com website
Naturalists can adapt any program to your group's needs, whether it's a scout badge, homeschool group, meeting entertainment, day-camp field trip, or recruitment event. Programs are usually held at the Nature Center and are 1-2 hours in length. Speak with a Naturalist to schedule.
Group program themes
Naturalist led hikes, expert guest speakers, and fun family activities are all program offerings with a focus on the natural wonders of Darke County. Enjoy natural history topics from birds and bats to wildflowers and wetlands.
This season's programs
Parks programs highlighting Darke County's important arts, history and culture include outdoor concerts, art exhibits, talks by expert historians and archaeologists, and first-person historical interpreters.
This season's programs
Throughout the year, Darke County Parks hosts a number of seasonal special events that celebrate our natural and cultural heritage. Everyone is sure to enjoy a festive day in the Parks.
Special events calendar
Prairie Days
Parks News Updates
Regular Park Board Meeting
Updated 6 Mar, 2015
The monthly regular Park District Board meeting will be held on Thurs., March 12 at 4pm at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center. Public is welcomed to attend.
Native Plant Pre-Order Form
Updated 19 Feb, 2015
The Native Plant Sale is back once again this year! Stock up on hard-to-find native species to bring beauty and butterflies to your yard!
Summer Intern Wanted
Updated 29 Jan, 2015
Darke County Parks is currently searching for a summer intern. Are you attending college hoping to become a naturalist-educator? This is the internship for you!
Darke County Parks on Facebook
Updated 20 Nov, 2013
We are on Facebook! Become a fan and get up to the minute reminders/updates for upcoming programs. With over 1,000 "likes" this is the place to be!
Find us on Facebook
Seeking Volunteers
Updated 7 Jan, 2014
Looking for a way to give back to your community? We've got your answer!
More Info HERE
Early Morning Discovery Hikes
Updated 18 April, 2014
Early Morning Discovery Hikes occur each and every Tuesday morning. We'll start at 8am in the parking lot at Shawnee Prairie. Let's see what is happening on the trails!
2015 Photo Contest has begun
Updated 29 Jan, 2015
Calling all amateur photographers! Get outside and capture the beauty of YOUR Darke County Parks! Winning photos submitted to the Park District Photo Contest will be used to create a 2016 calendar.
Battery Recycling
Updated 9 Feb, 2013
Lots of dead batteries laying around the house? Need a place to get rid of them? Find out more here!
More Info Here
More Parks News
View all 9 news stories.
All Parks News Stories
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