Nature Education Programs
It's 2024! Spring is right around the corner!
LRC daily open hours are typically Monday - Friday 10am-4:30pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. We are closed during scheduled on-site and off-site programs. The Naturalists are often called away on city business, meetings, wildlife calls, vet visits, and for other reasons. Therefore, hours are subject to change without notice.
ALL PROGRAMS REQUIRE REGISTRATION. Register at fairlawn.activityreg.com. Classes take place at the Learning Resource Center or Fairlawn Park, please see description for location. Refund requests must be made 48 hours prior to start of class, program or activity. Failure to attend a registered class, program or activity will be considered a forfeiture of materials supplied and all money paid.
Nature Tots, Tuesdays Feb 6, 20, 27, and Mar 5 11am-12pm. Ages 3-7. $8 Residents/$12 Non-residents. In these sessions we will explore age-appropriate animal and nature concepts through activities, games, and crafts.
Feathers, Beaks, and Talons, Friday Feb 23, 3:30pm. All ages. This class will focus on identification of local birds of Ohio through examining feather types and designs, differences in beaks, and in talons. We'll also talk about bird diets and play a bird diet game.
Story Time with Craft, Fri March 1, 11am, ages 2-7. We'll read a story or two and complete a related craft.
Kid's Art Class, Tues March 12, 2-3:30pm, ages 3-8. $4 Residents/$6 Non-residents. Today's class will be one of artistic exploration with a few different simple media to create art to take home.
Welcoming the Spring Equinox, Tues March 19, 3:30pm, all ages. Learn the differences between the equinox and the solstice, some fun facts about springtime related to the natural world, and make a craft.
Astronomy for the Little Ones, Fri March 22, 11am, ages 2-6. We'll read a story about the planets, put together a planets puzzle, and make a planet craft.
Botanical Illustration with watercolors, Tues March 26, 6pm, teens/adults. $10 Residents/$12 non-residents. Like botanicals? Try your hand at learning some techniques using watercolor paints to create a botanical of your choosing or using a guide.
Spring Break Games Day, Tues April 2, during open hours. Spend the day and hang out with the Naturalists playing your favorite games. Bring your own or use some of ours.
Spring Break Puzzle Day, Wed April 3, during open hours. Like puzzles? Feel challenged? Let's see how many puzzles we can put together today!
Spring Hike, Thurs April 4, 10am. Join a Naturalist to see what's popping up this spring and learn about what to expect in an ecosystem like Fort Island Park.
Introduction to Yoga, yoga philosophy, breathing, and meditation, Thurs April 4, 5:30pm, $10 Residents/$12 non-residents. Location TBA.
Spring Break Craft Day, Fri April 5, during open hours. Stop by today and make any number of crafts according to your whimsey! A diverse amount of craft materials will be made available for your use.
SOLAR ECLIPSE EVENT - Join us at Fairlawn Park 3303 Ridgewood Road for the 2024 Total Eclipse of the Park! There will be parking available at the park until full and in nearby lots just a short walking distance away. Our day begins at 12:30pm as we begin to gather and food trucks open. At 1:30pm there will be a standing Yoga short practice to honor the event, at 2pm other activities will be available including some presentations and a scavenger hunt, and at 3pm we will all pause to experience a rare total solar eclipse in our neck of the woods here in NE Ohio! (Safety glasses for viewing the eclipse will be distributed until they run out). You can also order your commemorative T-shirt by going to https://fairlawn.activityreg.com/Clientpage_t2.wcs to place your order before they're gone!
Spring Hike, Fri April 12, 3:30pm. All ages. Join a Naturalist for a hike through the park to discover the beauty that is spring and gather some fun facts along the way.
Discovering Nature in Spring, Tues April 16, 11am, ages 3-7. Let's go outside and discover budding plants, animal life, nests, and whatever else we can find!
Drawing Trees, Thurs April 18, 6pm, teens/adults, $8 residents/$10 non-residents. Share your love of trees and/or drawing by combining the two. Let's draw some trees. We'll use a few different media and learn some techniques to draw realistic bark and branches with appropriate shading to make our trees stand out!
Mammals Class for the little ones, Fri April 19, 3:30pm, ages 3-7. Learn what makes a mammal a mammal, their habitats, diet, and encounter up close the mammals we have at the LRC.
Earth Day, Mon April 22, 10am-12pm, family friendly. Stop by the LRC from 10-12 and join in a hike, planting seedlings, make a craft, take home your own planted seedling cups.
Spring Hike, Thurs April 25, 11am, all ages. Join a Naturalist to discover Fort Island Park in the springtime in a little more detail.
Reptiles Class for the little ones, Fri April 26, 3:30pm, ages 3-7. Learn about what makes a reptile, their habitats, and diets. Encounter close up our various reptiles here at the LRC.
Yoga practice with class on the Gunas, Yamas and Niyamas, Thurs May 2, 5:30pm, teens/adults. $10 Residents/$12 non-residents. Location TBA
Bird Class for the little ones, Fri May 3, 3:30pm, ages 3-8. An opportunity to learn some fun bird facts and ID pointers in the field with an indoor activity followed by a short bird hike.
Phenology of spring Tree Leaves and ID tips, Tues, May 7, 3:30pm. Ages 6 and up. Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena in relation to climate and plant and animal life. We'll discover how trees fit into this concept and learn about leaf stages, structure and function.
Exploration Station for the little ones, Mon May 13, 10:30-11:30am, ages 2-7. This class offers a hands-on, tactile approach to discovering natural items (called artifacts) such as pelts, bones, feathers, teeth, claws, as well as natural wood items, stones, shells, etc.
Pelts, Tracks, and Scat, Thurs May 16, 3:30pm, ages 6 and up. This class will offer the little bit older children a more detailed experience in learning about various pelts, tracks, and scat of native Ohio wildlife.
Biomimicry in Nature, Tues May 21, 3:30pm, ages 6 and up. Biomimicry (imitation of the living) is taking inspiration from the natural world to design and engineer for human products and uses. Learn about this process and how biomimicry is the fastest growing field of science today.
Spring Hike, Fri May 24, 2pm. All ages. Join a Naturalist to explore Fort Island Park during this exciting time of year!
School's Out Bonfire, Fri May 31, 2-4pm. Celebrate the end of the school year with a bonfire, games, and S'mores at the park!
Summer Volunteers Informational Session, Monday June 3 at 11am. If you are interested in volunteering at the LRC this year helping with animal care, programs, and outdoor gardens, etc. you are invited to attend this informational day to learn more about our volunteer program and, if you choose, to have your parent or guardian sign you up. Volunteers must be age 10 or older.
Yoga in the Park at Bicentennial park at the Gazebo, Wednesday June 5 at 10am. Teens and adults. Residents $8/non-residents $10. We have limited mats and props for those who do not have their own. (Outdoors weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather we'll move inside the community center.)
Birdie Bunch, Every Thursday at 3pm. Ages 7 and up. Join our Assistant naturalist James each week to learn about the wonderful world of birding, how to identify birds in the field, how to learn their calls, and using bird apps on a phone or tablet. This program will take place outdoors and will require hiking on our trails with binoculars.
Rocks and Gems Geology Class, Friday June 7, 10:30am-12pm. Ages 6 and up. Residents $5/non-residents $7. Let's rock and roll as we learn about Ohio's glaciated past and how to identify metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rock formations. We'll also get some in class time with polished stones of various sorts and learn some identification of certain gemstones. Participants will get their own small collection to take home.
Introduction to Archery Basics, Monday-Friday June 10-14, 10:30am-12pm. Ages 9 and up. Limited spots. Residents $40/non-residents $45. Equipment provided. Led by our naturalists who are certified archery instructors. This course will teach all the basics of the sport of archery including safety, bow and arrow parts, and lots of hands-on shooting practice using recurve bows and compound bows with fiberglass arrows. Please bring/wear sunscreen, a hat, and bring a water bottle as we will be on the open field in the sun.
Make your own Fairy Garden, Tuesday June 18, 2pm. Ages 8 and up. Residents $10/non-residents $12. In celebration of summer months participants will make a portable fairly garden with small succulents, some landscaping materials, and fairy decor. Everything needed will be provided.
Introduction to Orienteering, Friday June 21 10am-12pm. Ages 10 and up. Residents $5/non-residents $7. Orienteering is a competitive sport in which participants find their way to various checkpoints with the aid of a map and compass, the winner or winning team being the one with the lowest elapsed time. This activity will teach compass use and map reading skills while building confidence in how to navigate through an area such as our park.
Forest School, Monday-Friday June 24-28, 10:00-11:30am. Ages 8 and up. Residents $25/non-residents $30. We'll let the outdoors become our classroom during this activity-filled week of learning all things forest! We'll spend most of the time outdoors learning about trees, seeds, leaves, habitats, wildlife of all kinds, tracking, native plants, invasive species, pollinators, and more! Some of our activities will also include making crafty things with natural items collected on our hikes. Dress appropriately for being outdoors in the summer (backpack with sunscreen, hat, bug repellent, water bottles, snacks, etc.).
Biomimicry science class, Monday July 1, 2-3:30pm. Ages 7 and up. Residents $4/non-residents $6. Biomimicry is the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes. Spider webs, for example, represent nature's ability to deter collisions or nature's chemical recipes can help us design sustainable foams and plastics. We'll go outside and look for examples of biomimicry in nature and then make some applications back in the classroom through crafting.
Yoga in the Park at Bicentennial park at the Gazebo, Wednesday July 3 at 10am. Teens and adults. Residents $8/non-residents $10. We have limited mats and props for those who do not have their own. (Outdoors weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather we'll move inside the community center.)
Fun animal yoga for kids! Friday, July 5, 11am. All ages. Free. Takes place at the LRC. Outdoors weather permitting, or we'll move into the LRC in case of inclement weather.
Intermediate Archery, Monday-Friday July 8-12, 10:30am-12pm. Ages 9 and up. Residents $40/non-residents $45. This advanced practice is for those who have completed the introductory level archery or those with previous archery experience. Additional shooting techniques and games will be taught to further hone the archer's skills. Equipment provided.
Art Camp, Monday-Thursday July 15-18, 2-4pm. Ages 8 and up. Residents $10/non-residents $12. In this 4-day camp our young budding artists will use a variety of media to express themselves artistically with both guided art lessons as well as free-reign creativity. We'll be using chalk, pastels, watercolors, acrylic pour paints, glue, artistry glass pieces, clay, etc. Please dress to get messy. Some media may not come out of clothing so wear old clothes.
Bugpalooza Camp, Monday-Thursday July 22-25, 2-4pm. Ages 8 and up. Residents $10/non-residents $12. An annual favorite for many of our kids! New participants will start their own insect and spider collection and returning participants enjoy adding to their collections from previous summers. We'll learn about insect and spider anatomy, learn several insect and spider orders and how to identify specimens to their level of insect family, and how to properly pin and maintain a labeled collection. We'll go outside with nets and jars to collect our specimens each day for part of class and then come back to the lab to curate our collections. Dress to be outdoors each day with sunscreen, bugspray, hats, and water bottles.
Did you know...
Fort Island Park and Fairlawn Park (Oxbow) Hikes
The Naturalists will be offering hikes throughout the year as part of scheduled programs and as separate hike events to be posted on our calendar and on social media. If you have any group of 5 or more that would like to schedule a general or specific hike with a Naturalist please call the Learning Resource Center or email to schedule your personalized hike.
Garlic Mustard Pull Volunteers Needed!
If you, your family, school group, scout troop, or any other group is looking for a volunteer opportunity to help maintain our parks, then we need you! Garlic Mustard is an invasive plant that is taking over areas of the park and choking out the native plants, and we need you to help us get rid of it so that our native plants can thrive keeping our parks as biologically diverse as possible. Please contact a Naturalist by phone or email to schedule a Garlic Mustard Pull.
Looking to complete Scout Badge requirements?
If you any scout or scouting troop (daisies, brownies, lion’s den, webelos, girl scouts, cub scouts, boy scouts, etc.) and are looking to fulfill badge requirements we can help with that. We can help your scout or troop with requirements by providing content for badges such as home scientist, recycling, insects, geology, forestry, and many others. We have a wonderful resource here with the Learning Resource Center and natural outdoors of Fort Island Park. Please call or email a Naturalist to schedule your scout or troop.
If you have a home school group, consider scheduling your group for a Home School Science Program at the Learning Resource Center/Fort Island Park. We can accommodate just about any home school science topic upon request. Also, watch for our variety of nature programs offered every month! Ask for a program request form today!
The Naturalists travel, too!
The Naturalists will come to you! We travel to schools, daycares, senior groups, nursing homes, and other formal settings. Ask for a program request form by calling or emailing a Naturalist and schedule a visit soon!
QUESTIONS: 330-668-9518 Email T Dunn or email the Parks Department
The Naturalists are proud to offer a variety of free and paid nature education programs for all ages. All Nature Programs are held at Fort Island Park Learning Resource Center and the surrounding park. The Learning Resource Center is located at 413 Trunko Road in Fairlawn. 330.668.9518. We also visit schools and other places upon request. Please fill out the online form to request a visit and submit the donation amount.
Have a scout troop working on a merit badge? We can help with that! We can help your scout or troop with partial fulfillment of requirements as needed to complete their merit badges (i.e. daisy scout subjects, forestry or geology for boy scouts). We also welcome scouts who would like to work on a scout project at one of our parks. Call the number above or email one of the Naturalists to inquire. Click for more information about Girl Scout Badges, Boy Scout and Cub Scout Badges, and Community and School Visits.
Have questions about after school programs or test prep help in the sciences? Just contact a Naturalist at the number or email listed above.