Monday, December 29, 2014

Recycle your Christmas tree and help the parks

Recycling Christmas trees helps the parks as they are chipped and the chips are then composted or used as mulch within Lake Metroparks. 

Lake Metroparks offers 15 convenient Christmas tree recycling drop off locations throughout Lake County. Please remove all decorations before placing trees in designated bins.

Tree bins are available at the parks listed below beginning mid-December and will be removed about January 15

Chagrin River Park (Reeves Road entrance)
Chapin Forest Reservation (east entrance/Rt. 306)
Concord Woods Nature Park
Erie Shores Golf Course
Girdled Road Reservation (south entrance/Radcliffe Rd.)
Grand River Landing
Gully Brook Park
Helen Hazen Wyman Park
Hidden Valley Park
Lake Erie Bluffs (Lane Road entrance)
Lakeshore Reservation
Parsons Gardens
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Pete's Pond Preserve
Veterans Park

Click here for park information, including address and driving directions. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

You think this is for the birds? You're right!

115th annual Christmas Bird Count

Celebrated across North America (and Lake Metroparks)  

Gully Brook Park (December 20 at 8:30 am)
Penitentiary Glen Reservation (December 27 at 8 am)

Do you love birds? Join Lake Metroparks and participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest running Citizen Science project in the world.

The Christmas Bird Count, presented by the National Audubon Society, is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere count all the bird species and number of birds within a designated 15 mile radius in one 24 hour period.

Lake Metroparks is looking for as many eyes and ears to help us get as accurate a count as possible. All the data is turned in to National Audubon for a full tally from across Lake County, Northeast Ohio, Ohio and all of North America. Teams of birders venture out on foot, while “feeder” watchers keep track in back yards. A number our parks are included in the count territories.

Click here for a map of the circles that take in Lake County.
(Enter Lake County, Ohio into the search bar on the map)

Come join the fun on Saturday December 20 at 8:30 am at Gully Brook Park on River Road in Willoughby, where members of the Burroughs Nature Club will lead a hike and then move on to Pete’s Pond Preserve in Wickliffe for more birding, finishing up around lunchtime. Registration not required. Free

Go on a hike with members from the Blackbrook Audubon Society at Penitentiary Glen Reservation on Saturday December 27 at 8 am until 10 am to discover what the nature center trails and feeders have to offer. You do not have to be an expert “birder” to enjoy this outing, just a lover of birds. Register online for this hike. FREE

For more information the Christmas Bird Count, call 440 256-1404 and ask for Pat or Ann or visit

Learn more about birding in Lake County.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More shelters available to reserve in 2015

Hidden Valley Park - photo by greennite (Flickr)
2015 Picnic Shelter Reservations begin December 1
for Lake County residents. Open reservations begins Monday, December 8.

Lake Metroparks is making three more of its shelters reservable bringing the total to 16 shelters throughout Lake County that may be reserved. These include Chapin Forest (Forest Shelter), Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park Beach Shelter (west) and Lakeshore Reservation - Shadyside (east).

(All shelters provide picnic tables, grills, restrooms and other amenities and are great for family reunions or other special gatherings. Some of the shelters include power, nearby trails, playground equipment and volleyball courts for additional fun. For a complete listing of the shelters and their amenities, visit and click Shelters under Make a Reservation.

Shelter reservations for 2015 begin Monday, December 1 at 8 am for Lake County residents. Open reservations begin Monday, December 8 at 8 am. Reservations may be made online at or by calling the Registration Department at 440-358-7275 or 800-669-9226.

Shelter reservations may be made for the following park locations:

Chagrin River Park (Reeves Road Entrance)
3100 Reeves Rd., Willoughby 44094.
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include playground equipment, sand volleyball court, hiking trails, fishing in the Chagrin River, a recreational field and electricity.

Chagrin River Park (Rural Drive Entrance)
1000 Rural Drive, Eastlake 44095.
The shelter capacity is 75 and has electricity. Park amenities include hiking trails and a recreational field.

Chapin Forest Reservation (Twin Ponds)
10381 Hobart Road, Kirtland 44094.
Shelter capacity is 75 and has electricity. Park amenities include a playground area, recreational field, volleyball, hiking trails, cross-country skiing, ski rental, fishing and a fireplace in the shelter. 

Chapin Forest Reservation (Quarry Shelter)
10090 Chillicothe Road (Rt. 306), Kirtland 44094.
The shelter capacity is 75 and overlooks a small pond. Park amenities include hiking trails and fishing.

Chapin Forest Reservation (Forest Shelter)
10090 Chillicothe Road (Rt. 306), Kirtland 44094.
Shelter capacity is 40. No electricity. Park offers a playground, hiking trails and pond fishing.
This park has limited access in the winter (open May 1 through November 30). 
Reservable for 2015

Concord Woods Nature Park
11211 Spear Rd, Concord Twp. 44077.
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include playground equipment, electricity, hiking trails, fishing and a fireplace in the shelter.

Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park - Beach Shelter (west)
301 Huntington Beach Dr in Fairport Harbor. The shelter capacity is 40.
Park offers electricity, a volleyball court, fire ring, restrooms and a guarded swim area nearby. The eastern side of this shelter is first come/first serve. Open year-round.
Western side r
eservable for 2015

Girdled Road Reservation (South entrance)
12926 Radcliffe Road in Concord Twp. 44077.
The shelter capacity is 250 and overlooks a pond. Park amenities include electricity, playground, hiking trails and fishing.

Gully Brook Park
2100 River Road, Willoughby Hills 44094.
The shelter capacity is 75 and has electricity. Shelter has grills. This park offers a hiking trail, playground and three additional picnic areas with grills.

Helen Hazen Wyman Park
6121 Painesville-Warren Road, Concord Twp. 44077 (alongside Big Creek).
The shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include water, (May - October), playground equipment, fishing and game field. 

Hidden Valley Park
4880 Klasen Road, Madison Twp. 44057 (alongside the Grand River).
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include electricity, ball field, hiking trails and fishing.

Lakeshore Reservation - Lakeview (west)
4799 Lockwood Road, North Perry Village 44081 (on the shores of Lake Erie). 
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include electricity, sundial, gazebo and paved All Peoples Trail.

Lakeshore Reservation - Shadyside (east)
Located on Lockwood Road in Perry, on the shores of Lake Erie. The shelter capacity is 75.
This park offers electricity, a paved All Peoples Trail and access to the Lake Erie shoreline.
Reservable for 2015

Penitentiary Glen Reservation
8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland 44094.
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include hiking trails, Nature Center with gift shop, Wildlife Center and fishing.

Riverview Park
4895 Bailey Road, Madison Twp. 44057 (alongside the Grand River).
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include electricity and winter sledding.

Veterans Park
5740 Hopkins Road, Mentor 44060.
Shelter capacity is 75. Park amenities include electricity, playground equipment, fishing, hiking trails and a fireplace in the shelter.

Shelter reservations are accepted online at, by phone, mail or in person.
  • A $50 refundable deposit is required of Lake County residents wishing to reserve a picnic shelter.
  • Residents living outside Lake County pay a $50 refundable deposit and a $25 rental fee.
  • Deposits (payable by credit card, check or cash in person/phone and via credit card online) is required at the time of reservation.

Payment can be made online, by phone, in person or by mailing the reservation information to: 

Lake Metroparks Registration Department
11211 Spear Road
Concord Township, Ohio 44077.

In addition to the reservable shelters listed above, Lake Metroparks makes available the following shelters on a first come, first served basis:
  • Chapin Forest Reservation (Ledges Shelter)
  • Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park - Beach Shelter (east)
  • Hell Hollow - Shelter
  • Hogback Ridge - Shelter
  • Painesville Township Park - Shelter
Lake Metroparks offers a naturalist guide service providing a specialized nature program to your family or group visit to Lake Metroparks. Various topics and general discovery hikes available. Fee: $40 (1- to 1.5-hour program) For information call 440-358-7275.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Staying Safe in the Parks this Winter

Photo by Joyce Keough

The onset of cold weather can transform the outdoors into a winter wonderland, full of opportunities for you to enjoy skiing, ice skating, sledding, ice fishing and snowshoeing. While creating lasting winter memories, be sure to take proper safety precautions.

Make a plan. Always make sure that someone knows where you are. Inform a friend or relative if you are going out and when you plan to return.

Check the weather report. Heed precautions and advisories. If weather warnings suggest a severe wind chill or extremely low temperatures, consider avoiding outdoor
activities until the weather improves.

Wear the gear. Avoid frostbite and hypothermia by dressing in loose, comfortable layers, wearing proper footwear and keeping your head, ears and hands covered
(wind and water resistant fabrics provide the best protection). Don’t forget your sunglasses!

Supervise children. Adult supervision is the best protection for children. Be sure to watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbite.

Avoid hazards. Survey the area and identify the potential danger spots; deep snow can camouflage obstacles and water features. Be extremely cautious on ice!

Protect what counts. Always wear your helmet and/or protective goggles when participating in winter activities like snowmobiling, skiing and skating.

Take a break. During any extended outdoor winter activity, be sure to come inside for regular breaks and stay hydrated. Give yourself a chance to warm up every
couple of hours with a cup of hot cocoa or other warm drink.

Alcohol and winter activities don’t mix. Stay sober while participating in any winter activities.

Limit winter travel. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is stocked with emergency equipment, the gas tank is at least half-full and be prepared to handle the slick road conditions. Keep all of your vehicle’s windows, mirrors and lights clear of ice and snow. Good vision is a key to good driving.

Sled safe.

Don’t sled in parking areas, roadways, rivers or lakes. Always ride sitting and facing forward (going down head first increases the chance of head and spinal injuries). Sledding equipment should be in good repair without sharp edges. Avoid “jumps” that send a rider airborne—the higher they fly, the harder they fall. The building of such “jumps” is a violation of Park Rule 5.1(e) and the offender can be cited. Watch for other sledders and walk up the side when returning to the top of the hill.

Enjoy sledding at four hills throughout Lake Metroparks:

Chagrin River Park | 3100 Reeves Rd., Willoughby
•   Moderate hill located off the Riverwood Trail

Chapin Forest Reservation | 10381 Hobart Rd., Kirtland
•   Small hill used primarily by cross-country skiers to practice control skills

Hidden Valley Park | 4880 Klasen Rd., Madison Twp.
•   Moderate sledding hill located next to parking lot

Riverview Park | 4895 Bailey Rd., Madison Twp.
•   Hill steeper than Hidden Valley hill—located next to parking lot

Watch the ice.

Ice conditions are highly variable and can change quickly due to weather conditions and water currents. Please use extreme caution and ensure ice is thick enough and safe before you venture onto any ice.

Please note the following:

•   Lake Metroparks does not monitor ice conditions.
•   Whenever you are in doubt of the ice condition, stay off the ice.
•   Children should never be on the ice without adult supervision.
•   You should not travel alone on the ice.
•   Beware of thin ice in and around partially  submerged structures, embankments, vegetation and along dams or spillways.
•   Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas, moving water and darker areas that may signify thin ice.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall colors still strong in Lake Metroparks

It's the 19th of October and we're still seeing lots of vibrant fall colors in our parks.  Get out to enjoy these beautiful displays of nature. Pictured here are

Indian Point Park (Leroy)
Girdled Road Reservation - south (Concord Twp)
Veterans Park (Mentor)
Chapin Forest Reservation (Kirtland)
Girdled Road Reservation - north (Concord Twp)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TOP FIVE ways to explore & enjoy your Lake Metroparks this fall

Jeff Taipale

Fall Colors Tour: Take a hike along one of the 50+ miles of trails to discover the beauty of fall foliage in Lake County. If hiking isn't for you, scenic trail cart tours are now accessible for non-hikers.
Enjoy the Harvest: Enjoy harvest fun at Farmpark every weekend through October 19!
Gather Round: Get the family together around a blazing campfire for stories, songs, roasting marshmallows and old-fashioned outdoor fun!
Eye to the Sky: Did you know that fall is an excellent time for birdwatching? Catch a glimpse of a variety of birds during fall migration.
Conquer the Maze: Test your skills as you "walk the stalk" through a multitude of twists and turns through the three-acre corn maze at Farmpark.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Can you imagine a flock of a million birds, darkening the sky for days?

Celebrate the legacy of the passenger pigeon
The passenger pigeon, a bird found only in eastern North America, was the most numerous bird encountered by America’s first settlers. About the size of a mourning dove, they lived in social colonies and traveled in huge flocks that were said to darken the skies for up to three days. Our uncut forests provided food like beech nuts and acorns, and nesting sites for huge congregations.
NPS image by Richard LakeThis September marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, when Martha, the last of her kind, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. But before Martha, billions of birds declined over a brief few decades. Nearly every nesting colony was disrupted and market hunting for commerce and sport was relentless.
No one could imagine that such an abundance of life could disappear.
Since the seemingly impossible loss of the passenger pigeon, the concepts of wildlife conservation and land stewardship have become important tools. Protecting all wildlife and diverse landscapes assures that other populations, abundant and rare, remain healthy—that is the legacy of the passenger pigeon.
Join us this Sunday for an afternoon of free family-friendly activities that celebrate the legacy of this bird.
Passing of the Pigeon Open House
Penitentiary Glen Nature Center
Sunday, September 28 • Noon to 4 pm
Open House activities
  • Take a little walk to find clues about the story of this once abundant bird
  • See an actual Passenger Pigeon taxidermy mount
  • Fold an origami passenger pigeon to add to the Nature Center’s Flock of 200 birds
    (or take it home )
  • Meet our Mystery Guest Time Traveler from the late 1800’s
  • Check out the 10 display panels tracing the Passenger Pigeon in America
  • Make and take a kid friendly coloring page
  • Watch a short presentation “The Passing of the Pigeon”
  • Meet friends from Blackbrook Audubon society
  • Enjoy train rides presented by the Lake Shore Live Steamers, 1 – 3 pm weather permitting
Things to do at Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Discover the sights and sounds of wildlife at the interactive Nature Calls exhibit.
Watch and listen to birds and other wildlife through the Window on Wildlife.
Enjoy the fall art show: “Nature from Three Perspectives."
Discover the nature of art from a feminine perspective in this multi-media show featuring Jaymi Zents, Britta Franz and Lisa Ruschman; three talented local artists, each with her own unique interpretation of the world around us. From lush floral and Italian Renaissance-inspired figures, to modern mosaics and more, this show is a journey of creative expression you won’t want to miss.
Browse the nature-themed gifts at The Nature Store, a great resource for bird feeders, t-shirts, field guides, toys, children’s books and more.
Visit native Ohio wildlife ambassadors in and around the Wildlife Center.
Hike more than 8.5 miles of scenic trails, discover the beautiful butterfly gardens or enjoy a leisurely picnic on the grounds of Penitentiary Glen Reservation.

Take I-90 to Rt. 306 south for about one mile. Turn left onto Rt. 615. Turn right (east) onto Kirtland-Chardon Road and continue for two miles. Penitentiary Glen Reservation is located on the right (south) side of the road.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beat the Heat with Wet Feet

Lake Metroparks is fortunate to have a multitude of parks that provide access to our local rivers and Lake Erie.  During the heat of summer some of these locations offer great opportunities to cool off with a hike through the water.  Our local waters are important homes for many plants and animals, so while hiking around keep your eyes open for fish, frogs, crayfish or even a Bald Eagle. 

The following are some of our favorite places for a creek or river hike:

Indian Point Park – From the lower parking lot you can readily enter Paine Creek.  You can hike upstream to the Seeley Road bridge or take a shorter, easier hike downstream where the stream empties into the Grand River.

Helen Hazen Wyman Park – Kellogg Creek, Big Creek and the Grand River all come together at this park.  The best creek hiking though is in Big Creek where the clear shallow waters offer excellent opportunities to explore. 

Hidden Valley Park – The Grand River is the largest and deepest river in the county, but just beyond the shelter is a wide, shallow area perfect for wading.  So grab the family and some hot dogs for a picnic and an afternoon of splashing in the river.

Lake Erie has some great natural beaches to walk along while the waves splash at your feet.  Our favorite locations are:

Lake Erie Bluffs – The longest stretch of natural Lake Erie beach in the park district offers you a chance to walk the .71-miles from one park entrance to the other.  Keep cool by walking along the edge of the surf, while experiencing this amazing natural area.

Lakeshore Reservation – Two sets of stairs border a stretch of natural Lake Erie beach nearly a half mile long.  You can sit in the shade of some of the overhanging trees or wade into the lake to cool off. 

For more information and directions to the parks, visit


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lake Erie Bluffs Park selected to receive National Conservation Award

“This award demonstrates how Lake Erie Bluffs, our newest park, continues to gain recognition as an outstanding example of the conservation of a nationally recognized area, rich in habitat and various wildlife and plant species.” 
Lake Metroparks Executive Director Paul Palagyi 

Lake Metroparks’ newest park, Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township, has been selected as a recipient of the 2014 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) Award in the Environmental/Conservation category. NACPRO is a national advocate for parks, recreational facilities, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for communities across the country.

“This award demonstrates how Lake Erie Bluffs, our newest park, continues to gain recognition as an outstanding example of the conservation of a nationally recognized area, rich in habitat and various wildlife and plant species,” Lake Metroparks Executive Director Paul Palagyi said. “Lake Erie Bluffs provides public access to our greatest natural resource, Lake Erie and protects habitat used by more than 15 rare and common plant and animal species, including the Bald eagle but most importantly this park will provide public access to almost two miles of Lake Erie shoreline.”

By Joel Trick of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsOne of the most important aspects of the property is the role it plays in supporting migratory birds as the fly north and south during the spring and fall. The birds depend on places like the meadows and other habit at the Bluffs to rest and feed before continuing their migrations. This offers bird watchers an opportunity to see a wide range of birds that are not otherwise normally found in this area. Earlier this week, a senior biologist with the parks, John Pogacnik, saw a Kirtland’s warbler which is widely considered the rarest warbler in North America. “One of the amazing things about the Bluffs is not just the habitat, but the variety of the habitat on the property. This habitat is just perfect for birds like the Kirtland’s warbler, they absolutely need this kind of cover and food to survive and continue their migrations, especially at this time of year,” said Pogacnik.

“Before we have even finished with building the trails and amenities that we plan to provide at the Bluffs, the park is already being recognized as nationally important by organizations like NACPRO,” said Palagyi. The development of Lake Erie Bluffs was made possible with help from a wide range of committed partners. Working together, this collaborative effort secured more than $10 million in local, state and federal competitive grants and donations to purchase the $11 million property. More than 1.6 miles of undeveloped shoreline and nearly 600 acres of diverse and important natural habitat are now protected by Lake Metroparks thanks to the help of many valuable partners.

Photo of Kirtland's Warbler by Joel Trick of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, May 9, 2014

Don't make your vehicle a target!

Misfortune can strike anyone anywhere. Thefts from a vehicle can happen while you are at work, at the park, at the store, and even at your own home. If the vehicle is forcibly entered, you will have to pay for repairs or insurance fees in addition to the loss of the stolen items. One of the best ways not to become a victim is to plan ahead carefully and follow some commonsense safety precautions in your daily routine:
  • Lock your car doors, even when parked in your own driveway.
  • If you know you are just going to the park to walk or exercise leave unnecessary items like electronics, important  identification, mail, unneeded cash, credit cards, etc. at home.
  • Do not leave valuables (or things that look of value) such as  purses/tote bags, wallets, laptops, tools or cell phones in plain view. If you know you are going to be driving somewhere and  parking your car, put valuables in the trunk before you leave as not to draw attention to your car.
  • Keep detailed lists (in a safe location at home) of the items  you frequently carry, such as account numbers, credit cards, gas cards, etc. and the proper contact numbers to call to cancel your account. Also list the make, model and serial numbers for electronics such as cell phones, digital cameras, laptops and portable music players.
  • Park somewhere you feel comfortable, like a busy, highly visible area.
  • Remember your pets are valuable too. Do not leave pets in parked cars even for short periods if the temperature is in the 60s or higher. Rolling down a window doesn’t guarantee protection either, pets could escape, be taken from the vehicle or passer-bys could be bitten.
  • Have your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle and lock the doors once you’re inside.
  • Be aware of park closure times which vary at some locations.
Report suspicious people or activities as they occur to the local police. If visiting a park, contact the Ranger Department at 440-354-3434, or 9-1-1 if it’s an emergency

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fish stocking at Paine Creek Park provides added angler fun

Lake Metroparks' aquatic resources bring value to our parks and to Lake County. From the depths of our ponds to the edges of our rivers and streams to the beaches of Lake Erie, Lake County's watery resources afford our citizens unrivaled opportunities to enjoy fishing.

The annual trout stocking of Paine Creek by Lake Metroparks provides weeks of recreational angling opportunities on Paine Creek. Lake Metroparks has been stocking rainbow trout into Paine Creek, located in the beautiful Indian Point Park, for over 20 years. 

The stocking took place today to coincide with favorable stream conditions and the steelhead fishing this region is known for. 

A sampling of the healthy and lively rainbow trout stocked in Paine Creek

Lake Metroparks stocks Paine Creek at Indian Point April 18, 2014

Family from COLORADO on their annual fishing trip to Indian Point Park

Angler tools and supplies
Click here for more information about fishing at Lake Metroparks.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A creative journey “in the shadow of Leonardo”

Let local artist Giovanni Bocchieri take you on a creative journey “in the shadow of Leonardo” in this one-man show featuring leaf alchemy, paintings, jewelry and more.
The use of contrasting textures and patterns as well as vivid color imagery allows the viewer an ever-changing aesthetic exploration. His extensive travels in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean have given him exposure to diverse styles of art which have significantly influenced his own approach to drawing and painting. 

“The Alchemy of Art” is on display in the Nature Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation in Kirtland. The show runs through May 26 (Memorial Day). Hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily. Artwork by Giovanni Bocchieri is available for purchase; proceeds benefit the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center.
Giovanni firmly believes his artistic ability is a gift entrusted to him by God. Like Eric Liddell in the classic movie, Chariots of Fire, he “feels God’s pleasure” whenever he engages in art. Consequently, Giovanni is intentional in his attempts to celebrate life and the unique wonders of creation.
A note of interest: Giovanni enjoys a unique artistic heritage as a descendant of Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo Da Vinci. He likes to think he has inherited a certain creative versatility from his famous ancestor.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don’t let cabin fever keep you indoors!

A group hikes through a forest of hemlock trees at Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen. (Photo by Maribeth Joeright for The News-Herald)

Get outside and enjoy the beauty of winter. Experience the woodlands as a Lake Metroparks naturalist guides you on a nature hike through field, forest and stream.

Winter Hike
Sunday, February 9, 2014 • 1 to 4 pm
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Two hikes are available to choose from; each varying in length and terrain.
  1. An interpretive hike about three miles long with a few stops along the way.
  2. Self-guided trail options for families with young children or more limited mobility. Easy-to-follow trail maps are available in the Nature Center.
A Winter Hike patch and a commemorative year patch are presented to all participants.
After completing the hike, warm yourself by a roaring campfire complete with s’mores. Stop by the Wildlife Center to see some of our native wildlife up close. Enjoy hot soup and beverages served inside the comfortable Nature Center and listen to the sounds of folk music performed by Ernest Elshaw. Stop by The Nature Store to see hiking-inspired deals for the whole family!
Hikers are reminded of the importance of wearing comfortable footwear which is sturdy, warm and water-repellent. Hiking boots are recommended as the trails maybe snow- and/or mud-covered. Remember to dress in warm, comfortable layers. For more winter safety tips, visit

Pre-registration is requested for Winter Hike at Penitentiary Glen.
Patch, s’mores, soup and beverages are all included in registration fee. Program is $8 per person, all ages welcome, under 18 with an adult, please.

Register online or call Lake Metroparks registration at 440-358-7275 or 800-669-9226. Program is $8 per person, all ages welcome, under 18 with an adult, please.
Photo by Maribeth Joeright for The News-Herald.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can people benefit from feeding the birds?

Winter Bird Open House
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Sunday, January 26, 2014 • 12 to 4 pm • FREE

Feeding and watching the birds in your yard are great ways to “connect with nature.” Spend a cozy winter afternoon at Penitentiary Glen Nature Center learning all about winter birds.
The Winter Bird Open House features free, fun activities for the whole family! Relax with a hot drink, watch the birds at our feeders in the award-winning Window on Wildlife and ask a Naturalist all your bird and bird feeding questions. Chat with us about which types of feed specific birds like, the different styles of birdfeeders, the ins and outs of binoculars, and identifying the Top Ten Birds in your backyard this winter.

Ongoing activities

•Short presentations on common winter birds
•Learn about Binoculars, Feeders, and Bird field guides
•Bird Scavenger Hunts and quizzes
•Help us count the birds at our feeders for Project FeederWatch
•Drawing for FREE bird-related items
•Local Audubon Society display
Click here for directions and a listing of additional activities to do while visiting Penitentiary Glen Reservation.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meet Yoko - Jersey calf - first newborn of 2014 at Farmpark

Visitors to Lake Metroparks Farmpark witnessed the birth of the first newborn of 2014 for the agriculture-themed park on Saturday, January 11. Yoko is a Jersey calf. Her mother is Dawn.

Farmpark is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $6 for ages 2 to 11; ages 60 and over, $5; ages 2 to 11, $4; Farmpark members and children younger than two are free.  For more information, visit or call 440-256-2122 or 800-366-FARM (3276).

Click here to see more photos of Yoko

Lake Metroparks Farmpark is a family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming and country life. A visit to Farmpark is an educational experience where you can milk a cow, take a horse or tractor-drawn wagon ride, make ice cream, meet farm animals in the Well Bred Shed and Barnyard. Visit the Plant Science Center to explore The Great Tomato Works, solar and wind power and hydroponics displays. Visit Farmpark’s Gift Shop for a great selection of unique gift ideas. Enjoy lunch or snack at the J& J Café.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Need somewhere to dispose of your Christmas Tree?

Christmas tree recycling drop off locations

Drop off your live undecorated Christmas tree at one of 15 convenient located tree bins spread throughout the county. Photo from Patch
Help us turn your undecorated Christmas tree into the compost used to preserve our natural resources by leaving it one of 15 conveniently located tree bins spread across the county. 

Please remove all decorations before placing trees in designated bins. Trees are chipped and the chips then composted or used as mulch within Lake Metroparks. 

Tree bins are available at the parks listed below, and will be removed about January 15. Click on the park name for park information, including driving directions:

Photo of Chair Factory Falls in background by Jeff Burcher Photography
There was an error in this gadget

Blog Archive