Dec
13
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (2-3 year olds): Snow

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
Dec
14
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (4-5 year olds) - Snow

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
Dec
16
1:00 PM13:00

F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens... Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat obesity, and boost academic scores.”   

Darke County Parks are proud to offer this opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks.  Each month we’ll choose an activity that best fits what is happening in the natural world and see where our explorations take us!

All Activities will take place at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center.

View Event →
Winter Bird Hike
Dec
30
9:00 AM09:00

Winter Bird Hike

We'll venture into the winter wonderland of Shawnee Prairie's trails to see what feathered friends are out and about.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.  Binoculars will be available to borrow if you would like.  Bird-watchers of all skill levels are welcome.

View Event →
Broom-making Workshop - Turkey wing wisk
Jan
13
10:00 AM10:00

Broom-making Workshop - Turkey wing wisk

We welcome back broom maker Frank Rouse. Frank has over 40 years experience with brooms of all shapes and sizes and loves passing on this skill. Learn how to make a traditional turkey wing whisk that dates back to the late 1700s, a great project for first-time broom makers. Consider signing up for the more advanced woven top broom class if you’ve taken a class before. This advanced class produces a larger broom and will take more experience and time to complete. Space is limited and fills up quickly; call today.

Registration Required / Fee: $25

View Event →
Broom-making Workshop - woven hearth broom
Jan
13
1:00 PM13:00

Broom-making Workshop - woven hearth broom

We welcome back broom maker Frank Rouse. Frank has over 40 years experience with brooms of all shapes and sizes and loves passing on this skill. Learn how to make a traditional turkey wing whisk that dates back to the late 1700s, a great project for first-time broom makers. Consider signing up for the more advanced woven top broom class if you’ve taken a class before. This advanced class produces a larger broom and will take more experience and time to complete. Space is limited and fills up quickly; call today.

Registration Required / Fee: $25

View Event →
Winter Bird Hike
Jan
13
3:00 PM15:00

Winter Bird Hike

We'll venture into the winter wonderland of Shawnee Prairie's trails to see what feathered friends are out and about.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.  Binoculars will be available to borrow if you would like.  Bird-watchers of all skill levels are welcome.

View Event →
Jan
17
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (2-3 year old): Cardinals

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
Jan
18
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (4-5 year olds): Cardinals

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
Jan
19
9:00 AM09:00

Hand-feed a Chickadee

Back by popular demand, our hand feeding winter bird event!  This was absolutely wonderful last year and we can’t wait to give you the chance to join us again.  With a little patience and time, you’ll have our feathered friends taking seeds right out of your hands.  Register by choosing a time slot at 9am, 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am.  Please be prompt to allow as much time for your session.

Registration is Required for one of the above time slots.  No children under the age of 7, please.

View Event →
Jan
20
9:00 AM09:00

Hand-feed a Chickadee

Back by popular demand, our hand feeding winter bird event!  This was absolutely wonderful last year and we can’t wait to give you the chance to join us again.  With a little patience and time, you’ll have our feathered friends taking seeds right out of your hands.  Register by choosing a time slot at 9am, 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am.  Please be prompt to allow as much time for your session.

Registration is Required for one of the above time slots.  No children under the age of 7, please.

View Event →
F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Jan
20
1:00 PM13:00

F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens... Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat obesity, and boost academic scores.”   

Darke County Parks are proud to offer this opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks.  Each month we’ll choose an activity that best fits what is happening in the natural world and see where our explorations take us!

All Activities will take place at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center.

View Event →
Feb
1
7:00 PM19:00

Reef HQ: Live!

Warm up this winter by visiting the Great Barrier Reef from Greenville! Virtually travel to Australia as we talk in real-time to divers at the Reef HQ Aquarium while exploring their open air coral reef exhibit.
   Registration Required  FREE

View Event →
Winter Bird Hike
Feb
3
9:00 AM09:00

Winter Bird Hike

We'll venture into the winter wonderland of Shawnee Prairie's trails to see what feathered friends are out and about.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.  Binoculars will be available to borrow if you would like.  Bird-watchers of all skill levels are welcome.

View Event →
Feb
3
10:30 AM10:30

Hand-feed a Chickadee

Back by popular demand, our hand feeding winter bird event!  This was absolutely wonderful last year and we can’t wait to give you the chance to join us again.  With a little patience and time, you’ll have our feathered friends taking seeds right out of your hands.  Register by choosing a time slot at 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm.  Please be prompt to allow as much time for your session.

Registration is Required for one of the above time slots.  No children under the age of 7, please.

View Event →
Feb
5
6:30 PM18:30

Down to Earth Book Club: "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson

"During the seventeen years she worked in the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Rachel Carson learned about the problems of pesticides. Undaunted by the chemical companies' hostility and by the public's high enthusiasm for pesticides, she wrote a book called Silent Spring, which caused a major shift in public consciousness about the environment." - OEC

Join us for discussion on this classic environmental book.  Please register so we know you are planning on attending. 

View Event →
Feb
10
1:00 PM13:00

The Home Herbalist: Dried Herbs

We'll dive into the world of home herbalism.  Hands-on crafting of several take-home herbal remedies for digestion, immunity boosting and others will give participants the tools needed to work on using dried herbs at home.  

Registration Required / Fee: $10 / Ages 21 and up

View Event →
Feb
14
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (2-3 Year olds): Hibernation

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
Feb
15
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (4-5 year old): Hibernation

Parent and Preschooler Adventures is a series of monthly, hour-long programs designed to give parents and their preschoolers an opportunity to investigate nature through hands-on activities, hikes, stories, songs, and take-home projects. The “Little Explorers” Wednesday classes are for 2-3 year olds, and the “Seedlings” Thursday classes are for 4-5 year olds. Registration is required, and each class has a fee of $2.00.

View Event →
F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Feb
17
1:00 PM13:00

F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens... Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat obesity, and boost academic scores.”   

Darke County Parks are proud to offer this opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks.  Each month we’ll choose an activity that best fits what is happening in the natural world and see where our explorations take us!

All Activities will take place at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center.

View Event →
Feb
24
10:00 AM10:00

Backyard Sugarin'

Just in time for the upcoming maple sugaring season, join us to master a new woodland skill! You will learn how to tap your own maples, how and when to collect the sap and finally, how to go about turning that sap into maple goodness! Demonstrations and hands-on experience will ensure that by the end of the program, you’ll have the skills needed to produce your very own maple syrup! 

Registration Required / FREE

View Event →

Natural Wreath Making Workshop
Dec
9
10:00 AM10:00

Natural Wreath Making Workshop

Learn the basics of wreath making for the season. Using natural materials, create a one-of-a-kind decoration for home or gift.  We'll provide the materials, you bring the excitment!  This should be a fun time of preparetion as we use freshly gather materials to produce wonderful wreaths just in time for the holidays. 

 Fee: $10/person   Registration Required
   

View Event →
Walkin' in the Winter Wonderland Holiday Luminary Event
Dec
2
6:00 PM18:00

Walkin' in the Winter Wonderland Holiday Luminary Event

This holiday season join Darke County Parks for an evening stroll through our winter wonderland! There will be over 400 luminaries lighting your way along the wooded trails, allowing for a peaceful winter’s night in nature. As you hike along the illuminated trail toward the Log House and blacksmith shop, you can enjoy the crisp air, the bright stars, and perhaps the light crunch of snow on this early December evening.
In the Log House the fire will warm you while enjoying pioneer music of Christmas past as you relax in the comforts of the 18th century. Stop and warm up by the campfire and visit with the Parks Director. Holiday crafts for all ages will be available in the Nature Center to fuel the memories of this staff-favorite event. The Nature Center and gift shop will be open offering a selection of unique gifts or that perfect stocking stuffer!  Santa will once again pay us a visit from the North Pole!
New this year for the 10th anniversary, we will offer an extended path option for those who can’t get enough of the luminary trails. Don’t forget about our new Snowman Decorating Contest!  Local businesses and non-profits decorate their own “snowman” to compete in a people’s choice award!  Call the Nature Center today to participate in this great way to advertise your business/non-profit to our estimated 1,000 luminary visitors!
Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland is the perfect event for the whole family to celebrate the winter season. Don’t forget to bring a votive candle (or two) as a donation for next year’s path!

View Event →
Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Nov
18
1:00 PM13:00

Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens and mere minutes engaged in unstructured play outdoors, a dramatic transformation within the past generation. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits.” Darke County Parks are proud to offer this accessible, timely opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks. Our Naturalists will provide the tools and locations for kids and their parents to explore.  Meet at the Nature Center.

View Event →
A Dog's Hike @ Eidson Woods Preserve
Nov
13
5:00 PM17:00

A Dog's Hike @ Eidson Woods Preserve

Dogs like hiking too! Join us for an excuse to take the “pooch” for a hike with other dog friends. We’ll explore the trails of our chosen preserve and follow our noses to see what is happening. This is a great way to explore the Parks and spend time with your dog! Please be sure to bring a leash, doggie bags, and water for both you and your dog. Trails may be muddy and dark, so plan accordingly. Please meet at designated Park; call the Nature Center for directions. No dog? No worries; all are welcome! A fl ash light will be helpful
as this hike may take us into twilight.

View Event →
Nov
10
5:30 PM17:30

Old Fashioned Campfires

Join us for a good old-fashioned campfire! We’re bringing back the campfire after a great night back in July. Autumn nights just beg for sitting around a campfire with friends, so be sure to be sure to get this on your calendar! Bring a camp chair and join a naturalist for an evening of sitting around the fi re, eating s’mores, listening to stories, and singing campfire songs. Bring your instrument if you’d like to play, and bring the kids for this special night of fun in your park. Please let us know you are coming so we have enough supplies.

Pre-registration Required / FREE

View Event →
Nov
6
6:30 PM18:30

Down to Earth Book Club: Noah's Garden

“Published to rave reviews in 1993, Noah’s Garden shows us how our landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology, wiping out entire communities of plants and animals by stripping bare their habitats and destroying their food supplies. When Stein realized what her intensive efforts at making a traditional garden had done, she set out to “ungarden.” Noah’s Garden has become the bible of the new environmental gardening movement, and the author is one of its most popular spokespersons.”

Pre-registration requested / FREE

View Event →
Nov
2
6:30 PM18:30

Full Beaver Moon @ Eidson Woods Preserve

The air is crisp, and mosquitoes are a thing of the past. It’s time to hike! Autumn can provide the best time to get out of doors, and we have a variety of walking programs to offer. In early September, we’ll explore the stunning colors of the fall-blooming asters and goldenrods. Join us in October as we search for the uniquely-beautiful Bottled Gentian flowers at Shawnee Prairie’s prairie. Finally, full moon hikes will return in October and November. (Dress for cooler nights and bring a flashlight if you would like.) Call the Nature Center for questions and weather updates.

View Event →
Langsdon Mineral Collection
Nov
2
6:30 PM18:30

Langsdon Mineral Collection

The Mercer County District Library has a hidden gem in the Langsdon Minerals Collection - over 800 minerals showcased at the library. Our traveling educational program includes a presentation and hands on exploration of 20 minerals. Learn about mineral composition and uses while being entertained with memorabilia and stories about these minerals. Did you know that Cleopatra wore azurite and malachite as eye shadow? Or that jade is said to promote peace and tranquility? Minerals aren’t just fun to look at - they’re fun to learn about as well.

Pre-registration Required / FREE

View Event →
Towhees & Tombstones
Oct
30
5:30 PM17:30

Towhees & Tombstones

Join us at Greenville Union Cemetery for an informative look into our history and to check out a birding hotspot. From philanthropist, Fred Coppock, to the county’s early pioneers and from six US congressmen to the only man ever legally hanged here, these names have quite the stories to tell. While we wander back in time, we’ll also keep an eye out for late fall migrating birds and arriving winter residents. Whether you’re a birder, a history buff, or both, bring your binoculars for this quiet evening hike through the cemetery. Meet at the cemetery office on the corner of West St. and Main St.

Pre-registration Required / FREE

View Event →
Candlelight Dinner on the Prairie
Oct
28
5:00 PM17:00

Candlelight Dinner on the Prairie

The table is set, the servants are in position, and we are poised to provide you a remarkable historical evening in our log house. You’ll enjoy a hearth-cooked meal served family-style and fabulous period entertainment during this unique experience. The evening is a fund-raising event with all proceeds going towards maintenance, repairs, and cultural programming within the log house. Space is limited, so please call to reserve your place today.

Pre-registration Required
Fee: $50/person or $90/couple
Fee due: October 13

View Event →
Oct
27
6:30 PM18:30

Old Fashioned Campfires

Join us for a good old-fashioned campfire! We’re bringing back the campfire after a great night back in July. Autumn nights just beg for sitting around a campfire with friends, so be sure to be sure to get this on your calendar! Bring a camp chair and join a naturalist for an evening of sitting around the fi re, eating s’mores, listening to stories, and singing campfire songs. Bring your instrument if you’d like to play, and bring the kids for this special night of fun in your park. Please let us know you are coming so we have enough supplies.

Pre-registration Required / FREE

View Event →
Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Who's in the Park After Dark

Did you know that some owls will take over the nest of a hawk to raise their young? Or that an owl’s eyes are completely immobile? Join us to explore the owl species of Ohio. Learn about these birds of prey by meeting our own great-horned owl and discovering how the park is planning to expand its raptor education program. Take a hike into the woods to listen for wild owls that live at Shawnee Prairie (weather permitting). Bring a friend and prepare to discover “hoo” is in the park after dark.

Pre-registration Required / FREE

View Event →
The Great Pumpkin Hunt
Oct
21
1:00 PM13:00

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! For this annual favorite, families are invited to explore the beauty of Shawnee Prairie Preserve while hunting for pumpkin and Halloween themed treats. Clues will lead you on your way to meander the trails in search of goodies at designated stations. Prizes awarded for kids dressing in costume. Register today as spaces fill quickly.

Pre-registration Required / Fee: $6

View Event →
Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Oct
14
1:00 PM13:00

Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens and mere minutes engaged in unstructured play outdoors, a dramatic transformation within the past generation. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits.” Darke County Parks are proud to offer this accessible, timely opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks. Our Naturalists will provide the tools and locations for kids and their parents to explore.  Meet at the Nature Center.

View Event →
Oct
12
5:30 PM17:30

Bottled Gentian Walk

The air is crisp, and mosquitoes are a thing of the past. It’s time to hike! Autumn can provide the best time to get out of doors, and we have a variety of walking programs to offer. In early September, we’ll explore the stunning colors of the fall-blooming asters and goldenrods. Join us in October as we search for the uniquely-beautiful Bottled Gentian flowers at Shawnee Prairie’s prairie. Finally, full moon hikes will return in October and November. (Dress for cooler nights and bring a flashlight if you would like.) Call the Nature Center for questions and weather updates.

View Event →
Oct
6
11:00 AM11:00

Floating for Colors

One more time! Let’s try for one more fl oat this season! We’ll carpool and enjoy a picnic lunch at Lake Loramie State Park and then paddle the lake in search of the best fall colors. The islands and channels of the lake will provide a variety of habitats to explore and enjoy. As usual, dress for the weather and in synthetic clothing.

Pre-registration Required / Pack a lunch / Fee: $5

View Event →
Oct
5
7:30 PM19:30

Full Harvest Moon @ Routzong Preserve

The air is crisp, and mosquitoes are a thing of the past. It’s time to hike! Autumn can provide the best time to get out of doors, and we have a variety of walking programs to offer. In early September, we’ll explore the stunning colors of the fall-blooming asters and goldenrods. Join us in October as we search for the uniquely-beautiful Bottled Gentian flowers at Shawnee Prairie’s prairie. Finally, full moon hikes will return in October and November. (Dress for cooler nights and bring a flashlight if you would like.) Call the Nature Center for questions and weather updates.

View Event →
Wine & Paint: Fundraising Event
Oct
5
6:30 PM18:30

Wine & Paint: Fundraising Event

The Village Green Health Campus is graciously hosting this enjoyable event as a fundraiser for Darke County Parks. Participants take home a beautiful painting after receiving instruction from Katy Sanford. Wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and complimentary snacks will be served, all while being surrounded by the lovely atmosphere of the Village Green Health Campus. Space is limited. Please call the Village Green at 548-1993 to register.

Pre-registration Required (see above) / Fee: $45/person

View Event →
Sep
30
10:00 AM10:00

Goldenrods & Asters Hike

The air is crisp, and mosquitoes are a thing of the past. It’s time to hike! Autumn can provide the best time to get out of doors, and we have a variety of walking programs to offer. In early September, we’ll explore the stunning colors of the fall-blooming asters and goldenrods. Join us in October as we search for the uniquely-beautiful Bottled Gentian flowers at Shawnee Prairie’s prairie. Finally, full moon hikes will return in October and November. (Dress for cooler nights and bring a flashlight if you would like.) Call the Nature Center for questions and weather updates.

View Event →
Prairie Days Festival
Sep
24
12:00 PM12:00

Prairie Days Festival

You’re invited to Prairie Days! Enjoy a weekend celebrating prairies and the pioneer way of life! See apple butter cooked over the fire, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, compete in childrens’ games, view local artists’ creations, listen to live music and entertainment. Enjoy folk music from local artists, a unique production by the Darke Co. Civic Theater, or just sit a spell with our pioneer volunteers in the log house. Take a stroll through the encampment and watch a tomahawk throwing competition. What would a festival be without food?! Visit with the non-profit food vendors for a wide range of tasty treats, or enjoy fresh produce from Downing’s Fruit Farm. Don’t forget to participate in the pie-baking contest. Try your luck at the annual basket raffle and so much more!
Admission and parking are FREE.

View Event →
Prairie Days Festival
Sep
23
10:00 AM10:00

Prairie Days Festival

You’re invited to Prairie Days! Enjoy a weekend celebrating prairies and the pioneer way of life! See apple butter cooked over the fire, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, compete in childrens’ games, view local artists’ creations, listen to live music and entertainment. Enjoy folk music from local artists, a unique production by the Darke Co. Civic Theater, or just sit a spell with our pioneer volunteers in the log house. Take a stroll through the encampment and watch a tomahawk throwing competition. What would a festival be without food?! Visit with the non-profit food vendors for a wide range of tasty treats, or enjoy fresh produce from Downing’s Fruit Farm. Don’t forget to participate in the pie-baking contest. Try your luck at the annual basket raffle and so much more!
Admission and parking are FREE.

View Event →
Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Sep
9
1:00 PM13:00

Family Outdoor Nature Discovery

It’s no secret that we all have way too much screen time. According to Scott D. Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child, “The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens and mere minutes engaged in unstructured play outdoors, a dramatic transformation within the past generation. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits.” Darke County Parks are proud to offer this accessible, timely opportunity for families to engage in unstructured and purposeful outdoor play in our parks. Our Naturalists will provide the tools and locations for kids and their parents to explore.  Meet at the Nature Center.

View Event →