DCP can help break the winter doldrums


GREENVILLE — Darke County Parks is offering a variety of family fun throughout January. Be sure to join them and break the winter doldrums.

Winter Bird Walks – Jan. 14, 9 a.m., Shawnee Prairie Preserve, and Jan. 24, 9 a.m., Routzong Preserve – Walk the trails of Shawnee Prairie and other Preserves in search of winter bird flocks. All levels of birdwatchers are invited. Registration required. FREE

Rock Talk & Swap – Jan. 14, 2 p.m., Shawnee Prairie Preserve – If you love rocks and have a large collection, then this is the program for you! Bring items from your collection as there will be a table to claim and swap rocks. Share the stories and memories of your special rocks during rock talk. No rock talk would be complete without rock themed snacks. Registration required. FREE

Walking on Sunshine: 1,100 miles Florida Trail – Jan. 17, 6:30 p.m., Shawnee Prairie Preserve – DCP welcomes local hiker-extraordinaire, Andy Niekamp, back the Nature Center to discuss his recent thru-hike of the Florida Trail. Where else can you see an alligator, bear, and panther all in one day? Take an 1,100-mile journey from the Everglades to Pensacola through the interior of Florida. Learn how Andy endured sun, heat, rain, wind, cold, floods, hurricane damage, alligators and venomous snakes to complete this 2.5-month hike. Registration required. FREE

Native Animal Encounter – Jan. 21, 10 a.m., Shawnee Prairie Preserve – Raptors, reptiles, amphibians… oh my! Stop by the Nature Center to visit with our educational animal ambassadors. Why is a box turtle called a box turtle? Do salamanders really breathe through their skin? And will Pip the eastern screech-owl EVER get bigger? Find out the answers to all of these questions and more during these Saturday morning encounters! FREE

Pawsport to DCP: A Dog Hiking Adventure – Jan. 21, 2 p.m., Alice Bish Park – Do you love exploring the outdoors with your canine friend? Join them each month as they discover one of Darke County Parks’ 13 preserves. From woodland to wetland to prairie we will trek to fill in the passports with stamps and pawprints from each park. Once you’ve collected at least eight stamps in your booklet, receive a Darke County Parks bandana and toy.” Registration required. FREE

Intro to Beekeeping – Jan. 28, 10 a.m., Shawnee Prairie Preserve – Join beekeeper and park volunteer Carol along with Naturalist Mandy as they share the basics of getting started with honeybee hives. This workshop is designed for beginners and will cover the life history of honeybees, starter equipment, tools, management and maintenance Registration required. FREE

For more information, or to register, visit www.darkecountyparks.org or call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165

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