Educational Programming


Education at Lorain County Metro Parks

Let our experienced Naturalist staff lead fun-filled, educational programs for your group or classroom! We have a variety of facilities and programs for your numerous interests; and our programs can be tailored for different ages and abilities. These engaging programs are developed with Ohio Academic Content Standards in mind and incorporate age-appropriate, hands-on learning. Let us help you find the program that best suits your needs and objectives. No matter what sort of local natural or cultural education opportunity you’re interested in, there’s a park and a program for that!

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Offered Programs

Traveling Nature Encounters

Park Exploration Programs

  • We Have Your Reservation
  • Nature Hike
  • Predators of the Sky
  • Burrell Homestead and the Underground Railroad
  • Natural Ohio
  • Benjamin Bacon Home Tour
  • Sensory Circle
  • Native Americans
  • Construct-a-Saurus
  • Gold Panning
  • Construct-a-Mammoth
  • Amazing Aquatic Animals
  • Wildlife in Winter
  • Navigation 101
  • Let's Hear it for Herps!
  • Earth Day, Every Day!
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    Seasonal Field Trip Events

    Take part in exciting Field Trips that have been designed to explore history and nature in unique and engaging ways. These events take place on specific dates and may have limited availability. Please contact event location for more information and to be included on our contact list for registration announcements.

    Maple Sugaring

    • Description: This field trip involves discussions on history, plant biology and chemistry. Your students will discover the secrets of maple sugaring by a brief indoor lecture, hiking to the sugar bush and collecting sap with a Naturalist, and visiting the Sugar Shack to see the sap being converted into syrup. Includes hands-on activities along the way, including a taste-testing of real maple syrup! Registration begins in November.
    • Recommended for: Grades K-2
    • When: late February, early March
    • Where: Carlisle Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact Carlisle Visitor Center

    Road to Freedom

    • Description: Encourage your students to learn about our nation’s pre-Civil War history through direct participation in this dramatic and emotion-evoking role-play event! Students travel by foot on a wooded path meeting potential friends or foes on their way to the Burrell Home, a supposed safe house along the Underground Railroad. Will they escape and find freedom or be caught to be sold as slaves to the Deep South? Registration begins in November.
    • Recommended for: Grades 4 and up
    • When: April
    • Where: French Creek Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact French Creek Nature & Arts Center

    Nature Discovery Days

    • Description: Students explore and experience nature through interactive naturalist-led stations along a beautiful outdoor trail. The event also includes indoor activities focused on local wildlife and habitats. Registration begins in February.
    • Recommended for: Grades K-3
    • When: May
    • Where: French Creek Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact French Creek Nature & Arts Center

    Pioneer Craftsmen Experience

    • Description: Students travel to hands-on history stations to learn about various aspects of settler life and local history. Registration begins in May.
    • Recommended for: Grades 3-5
    • When: September
    • Where: Vermilion River Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact Vermilion River Reservation

    Call 1-800-LCM-PARK for more information and to register your class for these programs

     


    Traveling Nature Encounters

    Travelling Nature Encounters are 45-minute-long, interactive programs that are available at your site or at many of our park facilities. Please see the Lorain County Metro Parks map on the reverse side to locate your park area and scheduling contact information.

    We Have Your Reservation

    • Description: Discover your Lorain County Metro Parks through a multi-media presentation including photos, history, and trivia about each unique park location. Also learn about upcoming events, programs, and other ways to explore these local treasures!
    • Recommended for: Adults (Presentation on an adult level of understanding)
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Predators of the Sky

    • Description: Learn about raptor adaptations by observing how raptors and other birds of prey are “dressed” for a predatory lifestyle. Through hands-on natural artifacts, a group activity, and meeting some of our native Ohio Raptor Center residents up close, we will learn about raptor ecology and conservation. Also, if you are coming to visit us at the Carlisle Visitor Center, we can schedule a trip to the Raptor Center courtyard and possible feeding observations into your program!
    • Recommended for: Grade 1 and up
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact Carlisle Visitor Center

    Natural Ohio

    • Description: Using live animals and hands-on natural artifacts, we will learn about the variety of wild animals and habitats that are found in Ohio’s Great Outdoors. You’ll find that wildlife can not only be found in parks, but in our backyards as well!
    • Recommended for: All ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Sensory Circle

    • Description: During this interactive program, we will look, listen, smell, and feel our way to a better understanding of how we humans and animals both use our specialized senses to survive. Includes a live animal.
    • Recommended for: Pre-school ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Construct-a-Saurus

    • Description: In this activity based program, we will discuss how paleontologists use the fossilized clues animals leave behind to learn about them and their lives. Participants will see science come to life as we construct a life-size dinosaur puzzle.
    • Recommended for: Grades K-2
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Carlisle Visitor Center or French Creek Nature and Arts Center. Please note that adult assistance to set up the dinosaur puzzle and a large space are both required for this program.

    Construct-a-Mammoth

    • Description: Participate in a group activity that will increase understanding of and appreciation for the ice age period and some of the now extinct animals that thrived during that time.
    • Recommended for: Grades 3-5
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Vermilion River Reservation. Please note that adult assistance to set up the mammoth puzzle and a large space are both required for this program.

    Wildlife in Winter

    • Description: Why do some animals migrate, others hibernate, and some are out & about all winter long? We will investigate these and other strategies and cool adaptations animals have to cope with winter’s challenges. Includes a live animal.
    • Recommended for: Grades K-2
    • When: November through February
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Let's Hear it for Herps!

    • Description: Using live animals and hands-on natural artifacts, we will come to understand the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians and discuss the important roles these misunderstood species play in their ecosystems.
    • Recommended for: Grades 3-5
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Earth Day, Every Day!

    • Description: Through demonstrations, hands-on activities, and learning about some of the ways animals depend on us and their environment, we will discuss current conservation issues, such as endangered species, as well as how our daily actions affect ourselves, wildlife, and our natural world.
    • Recommended for: All ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Park Exploration Programs

    The following programs are offered at various Metro Park facilities throughout the course of the year. Look carefully at descriptions, as some programs are offered at specific locations and times of year only. Please note that all Park Exploration Programs spend some time outdoors. During your visit, it may be possible to accommodate your group with lunch space and multiple programs.

    For specialty year round programming including Schoepfle Gardens tours and Children’s Garden programs, Miller Nature Preserve Conservatory tours and Butterfly Garden programs, and Mercy Health and Recreation Center Inclusive Playground programs, contact these specific park locations (contact information listed below).

    Schoepfle Garden
    11106 Market St.
    Birmingham, Ohio 44816
    (440) 965-7237
    Miller Nature Preserve
    2739 Center Road
    Avon, OH 44011
    (440) 937-0764
    Mercy Health & Recreation Center
    47160 Hollstein Drive
    Amherst, OH 44001
    (440) 984-3470

    Nature Hike

    • Description: Take a naturalist-led walk on our diverse nature trails to explore first-hand the variety of habitats and animal homes found in Lorain County. Through interpretive information and activities, learn about native animals and plants. Be sure to visit at different times of the year to observe the dramatic and beautiful seasonal changes.
    • Recommended for: All ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Where: All parks
    • Scheduling Information: Contact your park area (Click map button below)
    • See map

    Burrell Homestead and the Underground Railroad

    • Description: While visiting their actual homestead, learn about one of the founding families of Sheffield Village and their involvement in the Underground Railroad.
    • Recommended for: All ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Where: French Creek Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact French Creek Nature & Arts Center

    Benjamin Bacon Home Tour

    • Description: Tour the homestead of the Benjamin Bacon family and discover how their version of the “modern” lifestyle was much different than ours. Also learn about the mill history of the site and what it meant for the area.
    • Recommended for: All ages
    • When: Year-round
    • Where: Vermilion River Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Vermilion River Reservation

    Native Americans

    • Description: Learn about the people that inhabited the French Creek Reservation for thousands of years. Includes hike and interactive activities.
    • Recommended for: Grades 3-5
    • When: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Where: French Creek Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the French Creek Nature & Arts Center

    Gold Panning

    • Description: During this interactive program, we’ll “strike it rich” in knowledge and fun as we learn about the geology and history of gold panning while trying our hand at panning the river ourselves!
    • Recommended for: Grades K and up
    • When: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall
    • Where: Vermilion River Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Vermilion River Reservation

    Amazing Aquatic Animals

    • Description: Get ready to get your hands (and feet!) wet as we explore a pond or river to learn first-hand how to identify aquatic insects and their adaptations. We’ll use our observations to make connections between them and their watery ecosystems.
    • Recommended for: Grades K and up
    • When: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall
    • Where: Vermilion River Reservation or French Creek Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Vermilion River Reservation or French Creek Nature and Arts Center

    Navigation 101

    • Description: Students will learn how to use a compass, read a map, and integrate these two skills to negotiate a simple course. This program may also be adapted to focus on GPS technology and geo-caching skills.
    • Recommended for: Grades 3 and up
    • When: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Where: Vermilion River Reservation
    • Scheduling Information: Contact the Vermilion River Reservation

    Scheduling Information

    To schedule a FREE program with the Lorain County Metro Parks Naturalist staff, please adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, but we encourage you to call 2-3 months ahead to ensure a more wide range of dates and times available
    • We require a minimum of 15 participants to schedule a requested program
    • We require a minimum of 2 weeks in advance to schedule a program
    • Please follow the specific scheduling contact information beneath the program description of your choice
    • For ease of scheduling, please be ready with the following information when you call to request a program:
      • The program(s) you are interested in scheduling
      • Your most preferred date and time, followed with two alternatives
      • In the case of the Travelling Nature Encounters, the name and street address of the facility we will be visiting (not just directions)
      • Pertinent scheduler contact information (name, email address, phone number)
      • The number of participants who will be in attendance
      • Any other special programming needs
    • To ensure that we can accommodate the most number of Lorain County residents, we restrict groups to requesting two programs from this brochure during a three month seasonal period. (Jan-March, April-June, July-September, October-December)
    • Our requested programming is FREE to all non-profit groups based in Lorain County
    • Groups outside of Lorain County can also receive a FREE educational program, as long as they travel to one of our Metro Park facilities.

    Using the map above, please contact your nearest park location so the Naturalist staff can assist you with your scheduling inquiry.

    Vermilion River Reservation: 440-967-7310, jwilson@metroparks.cc
    French Creek Reservation: 440-949-5200, apotonic@metroparks.cc
    Carlisle Reservation: 440-458-5121, mewers@metroparks.cc
    Find more information about other LCMP programming options by signing up for our Education E-newsletter above or like us on Facebook!

     

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