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Parks & Recreation
December 19, 2013 by Staff Report | No Comments

GEAUGA PARK DISTRICT For more information, contact the park district at 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org. Bring Some Light Into The Longest Night Among the longest-running…

GEAUGA PARK DISTRICT

For more information, contact the park district at 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Bring Some Light Into The Longest Night

Among the longest-running programs Geauga Park District hosts, in its 24th year, the Winter Solstice Candlelight Walk is the kind of charming event that fast becomes a tradition for families. The walk takes place Dec. 21 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township.

Visitors begin the years longest evening indoors with hot cider and cookies homemade by volunteers, as well as sing-along opportunities with the accomplished Pilgrim Brass Choir.

Then, head outdoors in volunteer-led groups of 40 to 50 to explore the roots of modern holiday celebrations, derived from ancient civilizations.

Expect to encounter five exciting stations to educate and entertain about the celebration of the longest night of the year, past and present. Cultures featured during the walks luminary-lit stations will include the origin of the Christmas tree; the Druids and their origins of mistletoe and holly; Native American traditions; and the Northern Barbarians and how they saw the solstice as a threat from the sun gods.

The free program regularly attracts about 400 people. The last group will be sent onto the path at 9 p.m.

Due to limited parking, carpooling is highly recommended; overflow parking will be at ASM International, 9639 Kinsman Road, where a shuttle will offer prompt transport to the Nature Center.

Registration is not required.

Birding Count Or Coffee

Help the Burton Christmas Bird Count, or just watch the world go by near a feeder.

Two great birding opportunities are scheduled for Jan. 4.

Those whod like to help tally winter bird life are invited to take part in the annual Christmas Bird Count for the Burton area, from 8-10 a.m. at Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve, 15681 Old Rider Road.

This years bird list that chief naturalist John Kolar and his fellow bird-counters create will be compiled with the lists of all participants counting that day within the Burton circle that is, a 15-mile diameter circle centered around a point, with Burton being nearest to the point. As per the rules of the Audubon count, the circle cannot overlap with any other circle and attempts to cover a variety of bird habitat.

If one is not a numbers person, would rather be indoors, would rather learn about bird feeding or just need a cup of coffee, there is a guided opportunity as well.

Geauga Park District has scheduled Coffee with the Birds for three Saturdays this winter: Jan. 4 at The West Woods Nature Center, Feb. 15 at Big Creek Park and March 8 at Swine Creek Reservation, all from 9-10:30 a.m.

New Year’s Afternoon

Grandparents can celebrate the coming of a new year of fun with their grandchildren at Grandparents in the Park: New Year’s Eve Nature Celebration taking place Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township. Join Geauga Park District and naturalist Nora Sindelar for some fun nature activities and snacks, including a “toast” at noon.

Registration is required for the free program. Guests are only asked to bring a snack to share with the group; beverages will be provided.

The West Woods Nature Center is also home to the new Something’s Afoot: Nature Just Can’t Stay Put exhibit, packed with hands-on interactive stations focused on how Nature moves. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Creature Adventure

Make ones way by land, water or air and find creature clues everywhere. Inside the nature center, there will be so many fun things to see.

Adventurers of all ages are invited to follow rhyming clues to neat facts about how animals move via the new indoor exhibit, Something’s Afoot: Nature Just Can’t Stay Put. Discover all the clues to be rewarded. Participants can also go outside to find more in nature for them to learn.

Creature Adventure is Dec. 28 from 1-4 p.m. at The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township.

Clues are suited for children ages 3 and up.

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