DARKE COUNTY — The Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie Preserve has been buzzing with holiday excitement over the past few weeks. In late November, many groups decorated the trees scattered throughout the center, and look forward to this annual tradition. Several organizations that helped decorate trees this year included the Jingle Belles, Fort Greenville Chapter DAR, DC Birders Club, Skein Gang, Greenville Art Guild, Horse and Rider 4-H Club, Saint Mary’s School, West Central Ohio Gourd Patch, and various volunteers. DCP encourage everyone to visit and enjoy these beautifully decorated trees inside the nature center.
Volunteers have also been at work prepping the gift shop, which has now been reopened to the public. Some new items in the gift shop include DCP camp mugs, bird-friendly shade-grown coffee, reusable shopping bags, and metal straws. There is still a limited supply of maple syrup available from this past spring. If one is looking for a unique gift for a nature lover, come check out the jewelry, toys, t-shirts and other nature-themed gifts available. The gift shop is managed by volunteers and Friends of the Darke County Parks and all proceeds go to the Friends of the Parks. Gift Shop hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Don’t forget to register for this weekend and enjoy DCP’s first Winter Wonderland Auto Tour. This year, Winter Wonderland will be a COVID-safe auto tour at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. While the luminary walk through the woods will be missed, this year’s event will be a wonderful alternative for 2020. Instead of only three hours on one evening, the Winter Wonderland will be offered Friday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. each night. Staff will be passing out a take-home craft kit to the first 65 children each night. Wave to Santa and the elves while driving by the Log House and Blacksmith shop. Don’t forget a letter to Santa to drop in the mailbox.
This weekend (Dec. 4-6), Shawnee Prairie trails and park will be closed, except for the Winter Wonderland (pre-registration required) event. Please explore and enjoy one of the many other Darke County Parks. To register for this free event visit www.DarkeCountyParks.org/news or call 937-548-0165.