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Greene County parks events


Greene County News

XENIA — Greene County Parks & Trails (GCP&T) will host a variety of upcoming events. For more information or to register for programs, contact the parks at 937-562-6440, email [email protected] or visit www.gcparkstrails.com. The Narrows Reserve Nature Center is located at 2575 Indian Ripple Road.

Beginning Beekeeping

Participants will learn everything about raising bees, setting up hives, equipment, products of the hive and much more. There will also be hands-on experience. The instructor for this workshop is Bill Starrett, one of 18 Ohio State Beekeeper Association’s certified master instructors. Class is held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2 and Thursday, March 9. Cost for residents is $40 and non-residents, $50. Pre-registration is required by Jan. 21. The workshop will take place at the Greene County Media Room, 541 Ledbetter Road.

Pancake breakfast

Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, maple syrup and sausages 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 4. Coffee, tea, milk, orange juice and hot chocolate will also be provided. After breakfast, join GCP&T for a tour of the sugar camp. Tours last about one hour. Local maple syrup and candies will also be offered for sale. The breakfast is $8 for visitors 7 and older and $4 for children 3-6. Cost includes a tour of sugar camp. The breakfast will be held at Bellbrook Middle School, 3600 Feedwire Rd., Bellbrook. Shuttles will transport guests to sugar camp for one-hour tours between 8:30 a.m. and noon.

Maple Sugar Camp tours

Narrows Reserve Sugar Camp, Sperling Lane Entrance, will also be open for public tours between 8:30 a.m and noon, Saturday, March 4 without attending the pancake breakfast. Groups of 10 or more — including school, scout and civic organizations — can enjoy a private tour of the Sugar Bush Trail with its lingering scent of sweet maple syrup on a hike led by GCP&T naturalists and volunteers on other days as well. Tours can be arranged on weekdays between Feb. 21 and March 9 with the 90-minute hikes completed by 4 p.m. The tours will highlight how sap is formed and is transformed into syrup using both Native American and modern techniques. The program meets school proficiency standards. Samples of warm maple syrup will be offered at the end of the tour. Cost is $4 per person (Greene County resident) and $5 per person (non-resident). To schedule a private tour or for more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails Chief Naturalist Cris Barnett at 937-562-6474 or email [email protected].

Project Feeder Watch

Be part of this national family-friendly science project 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11. No volcanoes to build, no posters to make — just sit back and watch the birds that feed at the Nature Center’s bird feeders. Bird populations can tell us a lot about climate and habitat changes. Help the naturalist track the number of birds and species that come to the feeders. Another session will be held 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25.

Volunteer Nesting Box Monitoring

Be a part of the parks volunteer crew by helping to monitor bluebird boxes 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at Narrows. Spend the morning learning more about bluebirds, habitats, raising young, feeding habits as well as when and how to monitor nesting boxes. Pick a park to begin monitoring and enjoy watching the nestlings grow.

Full Moon Night Hike

Spring is here and the vernal pools are in full chorus. Creatures as small as a fingernail provide some of the melodic sounds. Enjoy the spring serenade 7:30-9 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at Cemex Reserve.

Big Backyard

Join GCP&T for Big Backyard 9:30-10:30 a.m. or 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15 at Narrows. Go for a hike, look for tadpoles and salamanders and listen to the spring chorus. Each month will feature a different craft or hike. Cost is $5 for residents and $7 for non-residents. Parents are asked to participate by helping their child with the craft and going on the hike. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 years or older.

Breakfast and a dance

This dance will be done by a two- legged, feather-covered aerial flyer. Each spring the American Woodcock does a mating ritual at dawn and dusk to attract a female. Join GCP&T for a hot cup of joe or tea and a fresh doughnut. Relax and watch the morning dance 6-7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18 at Cemex Reserve.

Animal Encounters

Ribbit, Ribbit, Fantastic Frogs: Visit with some of the permanent frog residents at the nature center. Watch them eat, learn about their life cycle and who is singing in that spring frog chorus. This is a drop-in program. Participants are welcome anytime between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at Narrows.

Volunteer training – park tours

All GCP&T volunteers are invited once a month to learn more about the natural world. Each month has an outdoor segment so dress for the weather. Learn more about some of GCP&T’s lesser known parks through this park tour 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, March 27 at Narrows.

Trails welcome all

Whether a cyclist, walker or even horseback rider, the Little Miami Scenic Trail between Xenia and Yellow Springs offers scenic vistas overlooking several creeks as well as the restored and historic Hyde Road Bridge. This trail is one of five trails in Greene County managed by GCP&T and is part of the nation’s largest network of paved trails. For more information on the trail network or to receive a free regional trail map, contact GCP&T.

Parks meetings

The Greene County Park District holds its monthly meetings 3:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at GCP&T agency headquarters, 575 Ledbetter Road. The Greene County Park District Commissioners are John A. Finlay, Chairman; Anthony Sculimbrene, Vice-Chairman; and Jonathan Dobney, Commissioner.

2017 activity guide available

The GCP&T Winter/Early Spring 2017 Activity Guide is available at www.gcparkstrails.com or by calling the park headquarters for an email or mail copy. The guide features all programs, festivals and special events offered by the park agency, as well as information on renting park facilities and an overview of all park sites.

Greene County News report compiled by Anna Bolton.