Apr
25
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hike

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

Apr
27
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

Apr
29
Apr 30

Civil War Heritage Weekend

History comes alive when the Ohio Valley Civil War Association, one of the premier living history units in the country, visits Shawnee Prairie once again. Hear the cannon blast, watch men drill, and smell a soldier’s supper simmering. Daily demonstrations will include the 35th Ohio Vol. Inf., Birge’s Western Sharpshooters, and the 1st Ohio Light Art. Between demonstrations observe daily life for a Union soldier, discuss the war effort with civilians, or marvel at visiting ladies’ latest fashions. The OVCWA has taught at Manassas, Kennesaw Mountain, Stones River, and Gettysburg National Battlefields, and Darke County Parks is proud to welcome them here again. Demonstrations will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

May
1
6:30 pm18:30

Down to Earth Book Club: The Moon by Whale Light

Do you like reading books by nature writers, books about the outdoors, or maybe even about pioneers first settling Ohio? The Down to Earth Book Club will feature a different book in every Nature Notes. Each quarter, everyone is welcome to come discuss the work, enjoy some yummy treats, and suggest future books. 

In our sixth season, we invite you to read The Moon by Whale Light: And Other Adventures Among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales by Diane Ackerman. In a rare blend of scientific fact and poetic truth, the acclaimed author of A Natural History of the Senses explores the activities of whales, penguins, bats, and crocodilians, plunging headlong into nature and coming up with highly entertaining treasures. Please give us a call to let us know you plan on participating. 

May
2
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hike

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

May
4
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

May
5
1:00 pm13:00

WILD 5-0

With age comes wisdom, and with wisdom come special opportunities. We invite all of those young at heart and wise with age to this new series of programs geared towards the “50 and over” crowd. We’ll gather at the Nature Center or a pre-designated park and explore a different topic each session. Spring wildflowers, migrating birds, and fresh leaves will greet us this season.  Registration is requested, but not required.

May
6
8:30 pm20:30

Jupiter Skygazing

Under the light of a near full moon, join us as we welcome back the Stillwater Stargazers. Jupiter and four of its moons will be high for optimal viewing through the provided telescopes. We will spend some time discussing the coming total solar eclipse to occur this August as well!  Enter the parking lot with caution please.
 

May
10
8:30 pm20:30

Full Flower Moon @ Eidson Woods Preserve

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring! We'll hike the trails of the designated park by the light of the Moon!  Call the Nature Center to confirm in the event of cloudy/stormy weather.

May
11
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

May
11
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

May
16
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hike

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

May
18
10:00 am10:00

Parent & Preschoolers - Seedlings: Toad-ally Fun

They hop, lay their eggs in winter, and eat bugs. All things toad will be the subject of this month’s preschool adventures. Explore more about these little amphibians through stories, games, and art.   Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

May
18
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

May
18
6:00 pm18:00

Spring Survival Shelters

Join local survival and bushcraft expert, Rob Simpson from “Lost Wilds Outdoors” (formerly The Canteen Shop) as we continue to build our knowledge of survival shelters.  This season, we’ll focus on using the versatile tarp for our shelter needs. Dress for the weather as we will be outside in all but the most extreme weather for the duration of this program.  Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

May
20
2:00 pm14:00

Plant Name Lore

Ever wonder how a plant got its name or why historical tradition views it in a particular light? The Mayapple is pretty easy, but others aren’t so simple. Join us for an illuminating afternoon as we discuss why some plants were stuck with their common names, the historical uses for them, and perhaps a few superstitions about these beautiful backcountry residents.  Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

May
22
6:00 pm18:00

Intro to Kayaking - Part 1

It’s finally paddling season! That means it’s finally time to learn (or remember) how to use that kayak correctly and safely. Join us to refresh old skills or learn a few new ones while you’re at it! This two-day course will introduce you to kayaking by way of classroom study on Monday and on-the-water workshop on Thursday at a local pond. Learn all the paddle strokes, how to re-enter a capsized kayak, where and when you should paddle local waterways, and more!  During this fun-filled program, we’ll play games, enjoy the warm spring weather, and prepare for a great paddling season. Ages 16 and up please. Both class dates are required.  Dress for wet on Thursday; bring water and sunscreen.  Registration required.  Fee: $15

May
25
6:00 pm18:00

Intro to Kayaking - Pt. 2

It’s finally paddling season! That means it’s finally time to learn (or remember) how to use that kayak correctly and safely. Join us to refresh old skills or learn a few new ones while you’re at it! This two-day course will introduce you to kayaking by way of classroom study on Monday and on-the-water workshop on Thursday at a local pond. Learn all the paddle strokes, how to re-enter a capsized kayak, where and when you should paddle local waterways, and more!  During this fun-filled program, we’ll play games, enjoy the warm spring weather, and prepare for a great paddling season. Ages 16 and up please. Both class dates are required.  Dress for wet on Thursday; bring water and sunscreen.  Registration required.  Intro to Kayaking - Pt 1 completion required.

May
27
9:00 am09:00

Winged Jewels

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring!  At the end of May, we’ll hope to pick up some last-minute migrating warblers and other songbirds on Shawnee Prairie’s trails. Each hike will be rain or shine (except full moon hikes).  

May
30
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hike

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

Jun
8
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Jul
13
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Aug
10
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Sep
14
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Oct
12
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Nov
9
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Dec
14
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  


Take Flight: A Celebration of Our Feathered Friends
Apr
22
7:00 am07:00

Take Flight: A Celebration of Our Feathered Friends

What better time to celebrate birds than Earth Day? Spend the day with your family exploring the wild birds that call Shawnee Prairie home. This fun-filled birding festival will begin with “Breakfast with the Birds,” a fundraiser by the Darke Co. Birders, which will be offering breakfast bites in an effort to raise money for the care of the our owl, Greta. Five Rivers MetroParks will join us with a wide selection of their birds of prey animal ambassadors! See a Screech Owl, Kestrel, and a Red-tailed Hawk up close, and learn about these amazing animals! We will continue the day with a variety of bird-themed hikes, activities (all ages), workshops, and more! Join us to discover who’s nesting around the Nature Center or a lunch-time chat about birdfeeding. The Friends of the Parks will be offering a quick hotdog lunch from 11am-1pm.  We hope to see you enjoying Earth Day on the trails of Shawnee Prairie!

Download the full schedule HERE:

Apr
20
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

Apr
19
6:00 pm18:00

Wondrous Wildflowers @ Coppess Nature Sanctuary

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring! We’ll check Coppess’ trails for its annual wildflower display in mid-April (dress for mud). Each hike will be rain or shine (except full moon hikes).  

Apr
15
10:00 am10:00

Park P.A.L.S. - Spring Hiking Adventures

Go on a scavenger hunt for critters as the ground starts to warm and the forest comes alive.  We will gently roll logs and pull back leaves to expose the diversity of life that thrives on the forest floor. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Apr
13
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

Apr
13
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Apr
13
10:00 am10:00

Preschool & Parents - Seedlings: Can You Find?

Let’s go outside and have a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Let’s shake off the winter dust and head outside. This preschool version of a scavenger hunt will include color matching, pictures, and our sense of touch. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Apr
12
10:00 am10:00

Preschool & Parents - Little Explorers: Can You Find?

Let’s go outside and have a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Let’s shake off the winter dust and head outside. This preschool version of a scavenger hunt will include color matching, pictures, and our sense of touch. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Apr
11
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hikes

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

Apr
10
8:00 pm20:00

Full Grass Moon @ Routzong Preserve

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring! We'll hike the trails of the designated park by the light of the Moon!  Call the Nature Center to confirm in the event of cloudy/stormy weather.

Apr
8
2:00 pm14:00

Egg Dyeing; Naturally

White, brown, blue, and orange are a few of the colors we could achieve while dyeing eggs. Today, Mara Cox will share her Latvian heritage of dyeing eggs naturally. All the registered participants will get the chance to combine onion skins, flowers, leaves, and water to create a one-of-a-kind Easter egg. Registration Required

Apr
8
9:30 am09:30

Jr. Naturalists: Draw a Bird

We’ll join in the tradition of expressing joy in the simplest of things in life by drawing a bird and creating our own nature journals. It’s not about artistic talent; it’s about forgetting the worries of the world for a short time and enjoying the gifts nature gives us.  Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Apr
7
1:00 pm13:00

WILD 5-0

With age comes wisdom, and with wisdom come special opportunities. We invite all of those young at heart and wise with age to this new series of programs geared towards the “50 and over” crowd. We’ll gather at the Nature Center or a pre-designated park and explore a different topic each session. Spring wildflowers, migrating birds, and fresh leaves will greet us this season.  Registration is requested, but not required.

Apr
6
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

Mar
30
6:30 pm18:30

Skunks: They Make Scents

As if they weren’t easily identified by their distinct black and white coloration, skunks also have an unmistakable odor. Odor is putting it kindly; skunks really stink! Of all chemical defenses that wildlife employ, the smell of skunk is most offensive. Let’s discover why these mammals smell so bad and why they are an important part of the ecosystem.  Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Mar
30
5:30 pm17:30

5K Fit

Have you always wanted to try a 5k but never got around to it? Are you tired of those holiday pounds sticking around? Do you just need some motivation to get healthy? Join us throughout the spring as we help each other to do just that. We’ll have three different eight-week programs for you to choose from (walking, walking/jogging, and running) to suit your fitness needs and help you work towards a healthier lifestyle. With everyone setting their own goals and moving at their own pace, feel free to join us at any point during the program. For every time you attend, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free registration for the “Raptor Run/Walk” on Saturday, August 5th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Please dress for the weather, bring a timing device, and a water bottle.

Mar
28
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hikes

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

Mar
25
10:00 am10:00

Park P.A.L.S. - Build a Fort

Bring your sense of adventure to the Natural Play Zone. Working together we will design and build a fort using natural materials. Once our task is accomplished the group can creatively use the structure for unstructured play. Dress for the weather. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Mar
16
10:00 am10:00

Preschool & Parents - Seedlings: Mmmm....Maple

The sweet treat that comes from trees will be the highlight of our March preschool. We’ll learn more about the sugar maple tree and discover the parts of a tree. End the morning with a taste of nature’s candy. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Mar
15
10:00 am10:00

Preschool & Parents - Little Explorers: Mmmm....Maple

 The sweet treat that comes from trees will be the highlight of our March preschool. We’ll learn more about the sugar maple tree and discover the parts of a tree. End the morning with a taste of nature’s candy. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Mar
14
8:00 pm20:00

Full Sap Moon @ Worth Family Nature Preserve

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring! We'll hike the trails of the designated park by the light of the Moon!  Call the Nature Center to confirm in the event of cloudy/stormy weather.

Mar
14
5:30 pm17:30

Cast Iron Cuisine 102

Do you want to use your cast iron cookware more often? Have hotdogs and marshmallows lost their camping appeal? Are you ready for a bigger challenge?  Join us for the intermediate level cast iron cooking class. We’ll do a quick review of cast iron use and maintenance; then we’ll try some slightly more complicated recipes to expand our culinary repertoire. Previous participation in the 101 class is helpful but not required. Dress for the weather as the program will take place in the log house. 
Registration required.  Fee: $5/person

Mar
11
9:30 am09:30

Jr. Naturalists: Antler Amble

White-tailed deer grow a new set of antlers every year and shed them in the late winter. We’ll venture off trail to hunt for shed antlers and see what treasures we’ll discover along the way. Dress for the weather and being off trail. Please call 937-548-0165 to register.

Mar
9
6:30 pm18:30

Woodcock Walk

Join us for a hiking series exploring the sensations of spring! We’ll begin searching for spring as we watch the skies for the American Woodcock performing its mating song and dance. These unique birds require the ground to be thawed, so call the Nature Center to confirm this date.  Each hike will be rain or shine (except full moon hikes).  

Mar
9
4:00 pm16:00

Park Board Meeting

The Darke County Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a regular board meeting  at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center at 4pm.  

Mar
7
8:00 am08:00

Early Morning Discovery Hikes

The air is alive with birdsong, and the ground is blanketed in colorful blooms. Spring rejuvenates the winter-weary soul, and we return to our weekly walk schedule this March. As we hike the trails each week, we’ll explore the progression of spring and all the splendor that comes with it! Join us weekly for revitalizing walks as we marvel at the sights and sounds of springtime.

Mar
4
8:00 am08:00

Maple Sugarin' at the Prairie

Held the first Saturday of March, this late winter festival day at Shawnee Prairie offers guided tours through history and science as we learn the process of turning sap into syrup. After our tour through 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 to reduce it down to syrup. Then head out to the log house where you can discuss 18th-century syrup uses and pioneer skills with our 200-year-old volunteers. Finally, complete the day at the Nature Center where the gift shop will be full of maple goodies for your sweet tooth!

Mar
4
8:00 am08:00

Friends of the Parks' Waffle Breakfast

The Friends of the Parks will once again be serving up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee, and local pure maple syrup for just a $6 donation towards the Friends’ mission! After breakfast, take a maple syrup tour, grab some fantastic home-made 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. 
Tickets prices: 
Adults - $6
Children (age 3-12)- $3
Children under 2 are free

Feb
28
5:30 pm17:30

Cast Iron Cuisine 101

Join us for an introduction to cast iron use, maintenance, and even restoration along with a few basic recipes your family will love.  Dress for the weather because this program will take place in the log house. Look for Cast Iron Cuisine 102 in the spring. 

Please call the Nature Center to register: 937-548-0165

Fee: $5

Feb
27
9:00 am09:00

Here Comes Spring @ Eidson Woods Preserve

Winter's brisk weather brings with it a unique beauty.  Join us to seek out these seasonal sights and hiking opportunities.  We'll travel to a variety of parks to check out what the winter landscapes have in store for us.  Please meet at the designated park dressed for the weather.