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.

Breeding Bird Survey
Jun
2
7:00 am07:00

Breeding Bird Survey

Join us as we record the breeding birds of Shawnee Prairie. We will hike the trails to record the birds that are nesting to add to the records of the district. We will start early and continue through the morning hours keeping track of the species observed and heard throughout. Bring your walking shoes, binoculars, and a trail-side snack as this could be a
lengthy walk.

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.  

Visit the Council House
Jun
17
1:00 pm13:00

Visit the Council House

Join us on these select dates, and visit the Anthony Wayne Peace Council House, located at Prairie Ridge Meadow. Visit with our historical “long hunter” volunteer as he explains the purpose of the building, how many Native American tribes signed the Treaty of Greene Ville, and what activities took place in the longhouse. Stop by and learn the answers to these questions and more.

Paddle the Greenville
Jun
23
10:00 am10:00

Paddle the Greenville

It’s paddling season! Grab the water bottles, and let’s get on the creek! We’ll launch our boats and paddle the Greenville Creek, exploring this scenic waterway. Pack your lunch as we will find a stop along the way to grab a bite to eat and then hop back on the water to finish our trip. Reserve a canoe for doubles or a kayak for solo paddling. Prior experience is not required but will prove useful.

Registration Required / Fee: $10

The Art of Nature Journaling
Jun
24
9:00 am09:00

The Art of Nature Journaling

Do you want a deeper appreciation of the world around you? Do you want to record what you see on your hike? Do you want to practice your sketching or watercolor skills on an outdoor subject? Join us for a workshop on the art of nature journaling. Along with the Greenville Art Guild, we’ll discuss the different styles, purposes, and media used to keep a journal (with a special focus on pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencils); we’ll explore journal examples and try it out for ourselves. If the weather permits, we’ll be outside, so bring a lawn chair and your preferred journaling materials (ex: pens, pencils, colored pencils, tablet, journal, diary, or loose paper). Join the Greenville Art Guild for their annual “Paint Out” following the program.

Registration Required /FREE

Nature of the Tecumseh Trail
Jul
6
6:30 pm18:30

Nature of the Tecumseh Trail

The Tecumseh Trail traverses many habitats, so let’s take a walk and see what we can find! We’ll explore the newly completed section of the trail and enjoy a peaceful walk along Bridge Creek. We will hope for wildflowers, birds, and maybe a frog or two! Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring binoculars if you have them, and a water bottle.

Meet at Shawnee Prairie Preserve / FREE

Old Fashioned Campfire
Jul
7
8:30 pm20:30

Old Fashioned Campfire

Join us for a good old-fashioned campfire! Bring a camp chair and join a naturalist for an evening of sitting around the fire, 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.

Strawberry Moon Float
Jul
8
8:00 pm20:00

Strawberry Moon Float

Ready for adventure?! We’re going to explore the Greenville creek by the light of the Full Strawberry Moon! This float will be for those with prior experience as it will be a bit more
challenging of paddle. Be sure to bring your water bottle, a headlamp, and sense of adventure! Reserve a canoe for two or solo a kayak.

Registration Required / Fee: $10

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.  

Visit the Council House
Jul
15
1:00 pm13:00

Visit the Council House

Join us on these select dates, and visit the Anthony Wayne Peace Council House, located at Prairie Ridge Meadow. Visit with our historical “long hunter” volunteer as he explains the purpose of the building, how many Native American tribes signed the Treaty of Greene Ville, and what activities took place in the longhouse. Stop by and learn the answers to these questions and more.

Nature Center Animal Tour
Jul
19
6:30 pm18:30

Nature Center Animal Tour

Have you met our resident animal ambassadors? Learn why these animals live at the Nature Center and what it takes to care for them on a daily basis. Find out why each and every animal is an important part of the ecosystem and how you can help to keep them safe. Bring a friend and prepare to have an up-close encounter as you see (and possibly touch!) some of the amazing animals that call Darke County home.

Registration Required / FREE

Jul
25
6:00 pm18:00

Archery 101

Whether you want to sharpen your skills or try it for the first time, we are pleased to offer an evening of archery fun. All equipment will be provided through the Ohio Division of Wildlife and our expert volunteer instructor. The instructor will lead you in the proper technique and form to have you hitting the target in no time!

Ages 8 and up only please; Registration required; FREE

Jul
29
8:00 am08:00

Bike Parade at Annie Oakley Days

Nothing says summer like bike rides and parades, so we thought why not combine the two? In conjunction with the Annie Oakley Days parade, join Darke County Parks in celebrating our bike trail. The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your bike! It can be colorful, themed, or simple. We just ask that you register to let us know you’ll be joining us in the parade!

RAPTOR RUN/WALK 5K
Aug
5
8:00 am08:00

RAPTOR RUN/WALK 5K

Do you know any runners, or people who love to walk fun themed 5K’s? Darke County Parks is here to help you commit to being fit as we host our first-ever walk/run 5K. The path will be set out along the trails of Shawnee Prairie allowing you to take in the sights of woodland, prairie, and wetlands along your way. This 5K will benefit the raptor education program for Darke County Parks to assist our care and housing of the Great Horned Owl as well as the
growth of additional raptors in the future. There will be unique awards for the top three people in each age category and professional timing provided by Can’t Stop Running in Piqua, OH. This event is held rain or shine. For more information contact the Nature Center at 937-548-0165.
To register online visit: www.cantstoprunningco.com
Entry Fee: $20 with shirt by July 23 / $12 WITHOUT shirt by July 23
($20 the day of the race (no shirt))

Islands of Lake Loramie
Aug
7
5:30 pm17:30

Islands of Lake Loramie

Open water! Join us as we launch our boats into the calming waters of Lake Loramie State Park. We’ll meet at the Nature Center and then carpool to our put-in location. As we float through the islands of the lake, we’ll enjoy wildlife and flowering plants. Please be sure to dress to get wet and bring sunscreen and plenty of drinking water. Ages 10 and up. Please call with questions. Reserve a canoe for two or solo a kayak.

Meet at Shawnee Prairie / Registration Required / Fee: $10

Down to Earth Book Club
Aug
7
6:30 pm18:30

Down to Earth Book Club

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. At the end of the quarter, everyone is welcome to come discuss the work, enjoy some tasty treats, and suggest future books.

COMMON TO THIS COUNTRY: BOTANICAL DISCOVERIES OF LEWIS AND CLARK

This season we will read Common to This Country: Botanical Discoveries of Lewis and Clark by Susan H. Munger and Charlotte Staub Thomas (Illustrator). Lewis and Clark’s 1804 to 1806 expedition to find a water route to the Pacific discovered American Indian tribes, animals unknown to science, and 178 types of plants. In exquisitely detailed and botanically accurate watercolors and intriguing essays, Common to This Country explores the significance and place in history of more than two dozen of these plants and chronicles Lewis’ obsession with plant collecting. This beautiful guide appeals to natural history buffs and gardeners alike. Weather and mosquitoes permitting, we’ll discuss the book outside. Please bring a lawn chair, and give us a call to let us know you plan on participating.

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.  

AMERICAN RED CROSS: WILDERNESS FIRST AID
Aug
11
Aug 13

AMERICAN RED CROSS: WILDERNESS FIRST AID

Check; Call; Care. First Aid and CPR training are crucial for all to know and understand, but what happens when you’re out of range of a cellular tower and no one can be called for help? During this American Red Cross Authorized Provider workshop, we will dive deep into the first aid care required in a backcountry situation. Current First Aid and CPR certification is required prior to attending the course. Beginning with a classroom session Friday evening (6-9pm), we meet again on Saturday at 9am to continue our training. The workshop will conclude on Sunday at 1pm after an overnight camping experience in the park! Spending the days outdoors, we will work through real-world scenarios as we walk the trails encountering workstations along the way. Tents can be provided if needed.

Registration required; Fee: $159

Visit the Council House
Aug
12
1:00 pm13:00

Visit the Council House

Join us on these select dates, and visit the Anthony Wayne Peace Council House, located at Prairie Ridge Meadow. Visit with our historical “long hunter” volunteer as he explains the purpose of the building, how many Native American tribes signed the Treaty of Greene Ville, and what activities took place in the longhouse. Stop by and learn the answers to these questions and more.

An Evening on the Prairie
Aug
31
7:00 pm19:00

An Evening on the Prairie

The prairies come alive in late summer. Join us for a leisurely stroll through the prairies of Shawnee Prairie. We will discover a variety of blooms, butterflies, and other pollinating insects while enjoying a summer evening’s walk. Bring water and dress for the weather. After
this program, be sure to join us for a talk and demonstration of bat technology (see below).

Aug
31
9:00 pm21:00

Bats of Ohio

Thank you to a generous anonymous donor, we are excited to offer a new Bats of Ohio program. We are now able to incorporate bat echolocation technology while monitoring the bats in our parks. Using state-of-the-art bat detecting software and an iPad, we will be able to translate the echolocations of bats as they hunt over the prairie! Don’t miss this opportunity to combine technology and nature while focusing on the most important of insect-eating mammals.

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.  


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.

Intro to Kayaking - Part 1
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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. 

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.

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
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.

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.