Sep
30
10:00am10:00am

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.

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Wine & Paint: Fundraising Event
Oct
5
6:30pm 6:30pm

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

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Oct
5
7:30pm 7:30pm

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.

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Oct
6
11:00am11:00am

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

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Oct
12
5:30pm 5:30pm

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.

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Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Oct
14
1:00pm 1:00pm

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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The Great Pumpkin Hunt
Oct
21
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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Oct
26
7:00pm 7:00pm

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

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Oct
27
6:30pm 6:30pm

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

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Candlelight Dinner on the Prairie
Oct
28
5:00pm 5:00pm

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

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Towhees & Tombstones
Oct
30
5:30pm 5:30pm

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

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Langsdon Mineral Collection
Nov
2
6:30pm 6:30pm

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

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Nov
2
6:30pm 6:30pm

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.

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Nov
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

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

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Nov
10
5:30pm 5:30pm

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

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A Dog's Hike @ Eidson Woods Preserve
Nov
13
5:00pm 5:00pm

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.

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Prairie Days Festival
Sep
24
12:00pm12:00pm

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.

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Prairie Days Festival
Sep
23
10:00am10:00am

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.

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Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Sep
9
1:00pm 1:00pm

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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Sep
7
10:00am10:00am

Preschool- "Seedlings": The Magic of Monarch Butterflies

Discover the fascinating life history of the only North American butterfly that migrates. The long journey to Mexico each fall, starting in September, is what makes the Monarch such an iconic species. We’ll spend time exploring their life cycle, food sources and we will
make an attempt to tag adult butterflies.

Pre-registration is Required / Fee: $2

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Sep
6
10:00am10:00am

Preschool- "Little Explorers": The Magic of Monarch Butterflies

Discover the fascinating life history of the only North American butterfly that migrates. The long journey to Mexico each fall, starting in September, is what makes the Monarch such an iconic species. We’ll spend time exploring their life cycle, food sources and we will
make an attempt to tag adult butterflies.

Pre-registration is Required / Fee: $2

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Sep
2
1:00pm 1:00pm

Broom Making - Advanced: "Woven-top Floor 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 provided a larger broom and will take more experience and time to complete. Space is limited and fills up quickly; call today.

Pre-registration Required / Fee: $15

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Sep
2
10:00am10:00am

Broom Making - Beginner: "Whisk 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 provided a larger broom and will take more experience and time to complete. Space is limited and fills up quickly; call today.

Pre-registration Required / Fee: $15

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Aug
31
8:00pm 8:00pm

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.

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

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).

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Aug
21
1:00pm 1:00pm

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

Wear your favorite yellow or orange clothes, snack on SUN-daes and Moon Pies! Viewing glasses will be available for purchase. Watch the eclipse from the great location on the hill behind the Nature Center. Don't forget to bring a chair or blanket. Registration required at 548-0165 or info@darkecountyparks.org.

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Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Aug
19
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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.

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Aug
12
10:00am10:00am

Every Woman Has a Story

Join us August 12, 2017 from 10am to 1pm in the Darke County Park District’s Shawnee Prairie Nature Center for a special ladies’ luncheon to celebrate women and their stories. This second session will highlight Lady Karen W. Burkett of the Washington Family who will share her knowledge of historical underpinnings and dress. Karen has long supported the Park District and even national historical sites with her vast knowledge of Early American History and has served many times as hostess in our log house, teaching about our forefathers (and the strong women who accompanied them!) Door prizes will be given and prizes will be awarded for a unique piece of vintage clothing or accessory. So if you have great-great-grandma's christening dress or crazy Aunt Bess’s vintage jewelry collection-come share your story!
The menu will include: finger sandwiches, strawberry spinach salad, and homemade ice cream with waffle cone and a toppings bar, lemonade, and tea.
Cost $20.00 per person ($15 for Friends Members) at time of reservation.
Hosted by the Friends of the Darke County Parks

Name:___________________________
Email:___________________________
Phone:__________________________
Please return this registration form with payment by check or cash to: Friends of the Darke County Parks, PO Box 801, Greenville, OH 45331. Call Barbie Hansbarger (937)447-3355 for more in-formation.

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

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.

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

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

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Jul
29
8:00am 8:00am

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!

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Jul
25
6:00pm 6:00pm

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

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

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

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

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.

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Strawberry Moon Float
Jul
8
8:00pm 8:00pm

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

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Old Fashioned Campfire
Jul
7
8:30pm 8:30pm

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.

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

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

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

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

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Paddle the Greenville
Jun
23
10:00am10:00am

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

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

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.

View Event →
Family Outdoor Nature Discovery
Jun
17
1:00pm 1:00pm

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 Shawnee Prairie at the Nature Center.

View Event →