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Looking for something new to do in your parks? Look no further.

Greens for Giving

Art Takes a Bough: Ornament Reception

Free Exhibit: Return to the Ice Age & Something's Afoot
Closing December 31 for installation of new exhibit opening February 2016






Greens for Giving

Saturday, December 5, Noon-4 PM
The West Woods Nature Center

Help brighten a senior’s holiday season by participating in this “make-and-GIVE” event to create 250 evergreen decorations to accompany the Geauga County Department on Aging's home-delivered meals for seniors. All supplies provided.

Click here for the best pictures from our greens project benefited Operation S.T.A.T. in 2014.

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Art Takes a Bough: Ornament Reception

Thursday, December 10, 6-9 PM
The West Woods Nature Center
Co-presented with Geauga Council for Arts & Culture

CALL FOR ENTRIES (to be submitted December 10)

Purchase handmade ornaments, priced at $10 or $30 each, and enjoy holiday refreshments, as well as a Zentangle demo and display of ornaments by students from Geauga Achieve and STARS. Then, from 7-8 p.m., Bill Hixson, an accomplished floral designer who has helped decorate The White House for the holidays for more than 30 years, will share humorous stories centered on decorating various rooms within the White House and folklore surrounding ornament designs and holiday traditions. Some of his ornaments will also be available for sale and signing at the event.

It’s a festive, fun-filled event that allows an opportunity to shop local and acquire handmade heirloom-quality décor for the home. Join us!

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Return to the Ice Age & Something's Afoot

Special exhibit in 2015 brings real mammoth bones
to The West Woods Nature Center 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

It just got icy at The West Woods Nature Center.

If you haven't yet seen Something's Afoot: Nature Just Can't Stay Put, a large exhibit about Nature's modes of transportation, there's still 2015 — but as of December 27, part of that exhibit has "moved on over" to dedicate a corner to Return to the Ice Age!

This new special feature focuses on the megafauna, the large mammals, most of which are extinct, that roamed our neighborhoods in the few millennia approximately 9,000-12,000 years ago following the retreat of the last glaciations of the Ice Age.

Visitors are greeted by a megafauna menagerie: skeletons the Ground Sloth and the "terror of the tundra," the giant Short-faced Bear, both extinct. The lobby also features a lifelike replica of the extinct Elk Moose as well as a Caribou and a Musk Ox mount, two Ice Age animals that survive to the modern day in tundra regions of the northern hemisphere.

Via video and animal figure displays, Return to the Ice Age introduces some of our region's Ice Age animals that are now extinct, some still found in northern regions of the world, and some that survived to the modern day as local wildlife.

The West Woods Nature Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.

So, What Real Ice-Age Pachyderm Bones Are on Display?

  • A leg bone thought to be from the American Mastodon found while digging a cattle-watering pond in 1871 in Montville Township, from the collections of the University of Mount Union.
  • Jaw bones and molars from the 1964 mastodon find on the former Telling Belle Vernon Dairy Farm in Novelty, during the dredging of an old glacial kettle pond toward the intention of creating a golf course. The bones, on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, were severely damaged by the dragline bucket. But museum staff and board members who pressed their children (including a young Harvey Webster) into service conducted a meticulous salvage operation yielding hundreds of bone and tusk fragments along with broken bones and jaw fragments.
  • A jaw and leg bones of a mastodon discovered while enlarging a pond on an Amish farm in Middlefield Township in 1988. These bones, also on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, were determined to be from a young mastodon.
  • "Sam's Bones:" a grouping of Woolly Mammoth bones found in the stream gravels of the East Branch of the Chagrin River in Chester Township between 1942 and 1958 by Sam Whiting and family on their farm. Graciously loaned to Geauga Park District by the Whiting family, these represent a very significant Ice Age discovery for Geauga County, if not Ohio, as mammoth finds are very rare compared to mastodon and seldom include this number of bones.

Thanks to our Partners!

Through April 2015, Geauga Park District's Return to the Ice Age coincides with, and provides a Geauga County focus complimenting, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age. Admission is free with museum admission; find details at

Geauga Park District wishes to acknowledge the enthusiastic assistance given by the Cleveland of Museum of Natural History in making this exhibit possible, providing not only mastodon bones from its collections but also expertise of its fine staff most willingly and readily rendered during Return of the Ice Age's planning and preparation.

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