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

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Maple Syrup Festival & Waffle Breakfast
Mar
3
8:00 AM08:00

Maple Syrup Festival & Waffle Breakfast

Freezing nights and thawing days are the start to a bottle of maple syrup! This early spring event at Shawnee Prairie offers guided tours through history and science as we learn the process of turning sap into syrup. Hands-on stations will allow for the discovery of this fascinating spring ritual. After our tour of 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 down to syrup. Be sure to stop by the log house or blacksmith shop to visit with our pioneer volunteers, and the Nature Center gift shop (full of maple goodies) to complete your day at the prairie. Tours will begin at 8am.

The Friends of the Parks will once again be serving up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee, and pure maple syrup for just a $6 donation towards the Friends’ mission! Children ages 3-12 are only a $3 donation and those under 3 years old are free! After breakfast, take a maple syrup tour, grab some fantastic 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. Breakfast will be served from 8am-12pm. (Additional sausage can be purchased for an extra $1.)

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Wormfarming 101
Mar
13
6:30 PM18:30

Wormfarming 101

Discover how indoor vermicomposting helps people and the environment. Explore the truths and myths associated with compost while the naturalist staff leads you through all aspects of worm bin care. *Informational Only – no worms or bins provided for this workshop

Registration is Required.    Location: Bish Discovery Center    Fee: FREE

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Parent & Preschooler (2-3 year old): Bird Nests
Mar
14
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (2-3 year old): Bird Nests

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.

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Parent & Preschooler (4-5 year old): Bird Nests
Mar
15
10:00 AM10:00

Parent & Preschooler (4-5 year old): Bird Nests

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.

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

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Egg Dyeing; Naturally!
Mar
24
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 is required.  FREE   To be held at Bish Discovery Center

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Apr
13
8:30 PM20:30

Spring Stargaze

Join us as we welcome the Stillwater Stargazers back to Shawnee Prairie.  The Stargazers will lend their expertise for an evening with the stars!  The Moon will be in a slim crescent phase and will set early which is beneficial for observing the night sky.  In addition, we'll keep an eye out for the ISS (International Space Station) which will pass very near Venus in our night sky!

Call the Nature Center for details.   FREE

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Apr
16
6:30 PM18:30

Geocaching 101

We'll meet at Bish Discovery Center and learn the basics of geocaching, a GPS treasure hunting activity you can play with simple tools.  We'll walk thru the basics and then try to find some local caches.  

Registration Required.  FREE

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Apr
17
6:30 PM18:30

Raised Bed Gardening

Join us as we discover the advantages and simplicity of using raised garden beds.  We will explore materials to build the structure, planting suggestions, common issues and what resources are locally available for you to be successful.  No gardening experience necessary!

Registration Required.  FREE

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Apr
18
10:00 AM10:00

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

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.

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Apr
19
10:00 AM10:00

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

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.

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Down to Earth Book Club: "The Nature Fix" by Florence Williams
May
7
6:30 PM18:30

Down to Earth Book Club: "The Nature Fix" by Florence Williams

"For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain."

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

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F.O.N.D. - Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
May
12
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.

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Birding the Boardwalk: Eco-trip
May
15
7:00 AM07:00

Birding the Boardwalk: Eco-trip

Travel with a park district naturalist to Magee Marsh's famed boardwalk for a day of birdwatching!  Expect to see well over 40 sepcies of birds, many up-close!  We will depart the Nature Center early and bird for most of the day (bring a sack lunch), and return close to 5pm.  

Registration Required.  Fee: $10

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May
16
10:00 AM10:00

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

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.

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May
17
10:00 AM10:00

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Home Herbalist: Dried Herbs
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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 →
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.

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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
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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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 →
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 →
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.

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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.

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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
   

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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!

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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.

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