Reading the Clues: A Portage Park Animal MysteryLearn what types of signs animals may leave and what they are trying to communicate. Then we will become nature detectives and attempt to solve a crime, based on evidence. Call for more information.
Environmental Education Programs
Park Naturalists offer programs to the general public as well as
specially scheduled programs for school groups, scouts, and other
groups. For General Public programs, please see our Calendar of Events.
Our Group Programs are listed below.
Environmental Education Kits
The Portage Park District is committed to serving the county by providing education opportunities. With 12 miles of trails and 1250 acres of diverse woodlands and wetlands that support an abundance of wildlife species, the park is the ideal classroom. While we are aware of this, we understand the difficulties involved in actually bringing students out to such a resource.
In an attempt to serve educators and students we have acquired funding from the Portage County Environmental Awards Dinner and Ruth Meade Memorial Fund to develop Environmental Education Resource Kits that will be available on loan through the County District Library system.
These kits will enhance any elementary or middle school classroom discussion, covering various topics and issues such as wetlands, forests, farming and farmland preservation, environmental action projects, and Native Americans. Our mini kits cover owls, bats, butterflies, and biomes. Each kit contains various brochures, posters, hands-on activities, audio or vidiotapes, and other such items.
We have also developed programs and hikes to go along with these materials. Please call your library or contact the Portage Park District at 330.297.7728 for more information.
Group ProgramsThese programs are offered to group interested in visiting our parks. We also provide programs in partnership with other parks, libraries, scouts and other organizations. The programs can last an hour or longer, depending on the group and age of students. Programs for larger groups may require some teacher led activities while half the group is working with the naturalist. Programs are usually free. Occasionally there is a small charge for materials.
Group size: Maximum 40, Minimum 10
Senior Group Programs
What's new outside?Park naturalists bring a sampling of plants and objects found in nature to your site to awaken the senses. Smell a flower, touch a pinecone, and observe how a turtle eats and moves. Each program is different, based on the season's flora. Call to schedule a program.
Learn all about worms: How they move, why they are important, and why they are called Nature's Farmers. We will observe them, and learn how to make a worm bin. Call to schedule a program.
Spend an hour or day at one of your County Parks, call to schedule a program today! Call at least one month prior to the date of your planned visit. Programs are scheduled as space permits call early if possible.
When you call to schedule your program tell us:
Your name (contact person), address, and phone number.
The size of your group and grade level.
The program title you are interested in.
The park you would like to visit.
The date you would like to visit.
The time you want to arrive and leave.
These programs are available for groups upon request. CLICK HERE to request a program.
Learn about trees, animals that live in the forest and forest ecology.
Do a pond or vernal pool study. Learn who lives in the wetlands.
Habitat Sweet Habitat
Compare forest, field, and wetland.
Mammals of Portage County
Learn about wildlife that lives in your neighborhood.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Learn why snakes and frogs are so amazing.
Native Americans –The Mound builders
Learn how Native Americans lived and visit an authentic mound built by the Mound builders at Towner’s Woods.
Learn how these “Creatures of the Night” have adapted to night survival. Take apart an Owl Pellet and discover what they eat. (Fee for pellet)
Exploring Food Webs
An active look at who eats whom in the wild.
Discovery Nature Hikes
Discover how the forest changes throughout the seasons. Take a naturalist led hike in spring, summer, fall, and/or winter. Learn how plants and animals adapt to seasonal changes.
Creatures of the Night Hike
Get your group together to explore Portage
County's “real night life”. Explore the creatures
that come out as the sun sets and the stars and moon appear.
Various program topics can be arranged with advance planning. Programs can be tailored to subject that you are studying or that your scout troop needs to receive a patch.
Online Field Guides
National Audubon Society
National Park Service
Ohio Division of Wildlife's Wildlife Resources
The Nature Conservancy
US EPA Student Center
US Geological Survey's "The Learning Web"
US Fish and Wildlife Service
New American Dream
GreenCityBlueLake - The future of Northeast Ohio