Light Foundation opens Nature Center


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Light Foundation’s Chenoweth Trails opened its new Nature Center on Friday, April 26 with an open house from 4-6 p.m. The Center is now part of the Foundation’s tree house.

In addition to showcasing the Nature Center, the Light Foundation partnered with Darke County Parks (DCP) to provide a wonderful experience. DCP brought a couple of raptors with them including Dip, a 7-8-year-old Eastern Screech Owl and Umber, a 6-7-year-old Barred Owl. Visitors got to meet both owls.

Kids were also given an opportunity to plant pumpkin seeds in egg cartons at the Pavilion with Brandi. Once the plants emerge, they will be planted in the Chenoweth Trail’s pumpkin patch. Those who planted seeds will be able to reap their harvest in the fall when they host a hayride.

According to Troy Eden, chief operations officer of the Light Foundation, “The goal of the Nature Center is to get kids away from their day-to-day activities, away from cell phones and video games and out into the true outdoors. It has been a great effort generated by community donations of Darke County Fish & Game. Diana Stebbins, curator and chief volunteer, has been instrumental in assisting to getting this center open.”

The Nature Center is located in the tree house that was built five years ago. The tree house was an empty shell that provided a great view but the Light Foundation felt they were missing an opportunity.

Visitors will be able to look at everything from the tiniest creatures found in the woods around Chenoweth Trails to white tail deer and bobcats. Eden and Stebbins are hoping the youth will interact with the items. They want them to touch the items and learn more about the animals they may see at Chenoweth Trails. What does their hair feel like? Are the antlers sharp or are they dull?

Through this new offering at Chenoweth Trails and all the programs offered by the Light Foundation, which includes the Timber Frame Leadership Camp that draws kids from across the country, Youth Turkey Hunt, Hooked on Fishing, Camp Vohokase and more, Eden said the goal of building good citizens always plays a part in the planning and execution of their events.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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