4 May, 2016
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
Spring Newsletter
Updated 31 Dec, 2015
The world is waking up after a long winter slumber! Maple syrup, birds, flowers and green have returned! Remember to place your plant sale order soon.
Download Here
Website Updates
Updated 31 Dec, 2015
Our website is slowly being updated. Until the update is complete, please visit our facebook page for the most up-to-date news. Call the Nature Center for more info.
Bike Trails Map
Updated 15 Aug, 2015
Interested in our Bike & Multi-purpose trail? Look no further than this interactive map!
Interactive Map
Darke County Parks on Facebook
Updated 2 Sept, 2015
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
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!
DCP e-mails
Updated 1 Feb, 2011
Want to stay up to date w/ all things Darke County Parks? Sign up for our weekly emails! Just visit the Nature Notes page, enter your info and you're done!
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