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

Something's Afoot: Nature Just Can't Stay Put

2014 Caveman Crawl 5K Trail Run

Nature Arts Festival / Nature Writing Contest


Something's Afoot: Nature Just Can't Stay Put

Through 2014 at The West Woods

All of Nature is on the move - all the time. Be it the motion of mammals, plants, amphibians, fish or arachnids, movement is simply fundamental for survival: a fact at the center of this new exhibit.

To keep experiences fresh and interesting for visitors, staff and volunteers united once again to develop a full array of new sights, sounds and hands-on activities. "The overall objective of this exhibit is to help visitors discover the wide range of mobility found among animals, which by and large surpass human abilities, yet have inspired human inventions," says Senior Naturalist Dan Best. "We also explore Nature's influence on activities like hang gliding, parasailing, scuba and snorkeling, which let us humans be fish and birds."

Something's Afoot explores seed dispersal in plants; geological movement, showing how the movement of rock and sediments over long periods of time have resulted in our bedrock formations and various soil types; and how water moves from earth to sky and back in an endless cycle. Children's room activities include hands-on games and play stations exploring animal movement and animal-aided human travel such as horse and wagon.

Geauga Park District's Naturalist Department has also developed a wide range of programming to complement and further explore the theme.

The West Woods Nature Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Caveman Crawl 5K Trail Run

Sunday, June 8, 2014, at The West Woods
Day-of Registration: 7-8:30 AM • Race Start: 9 AM
Walkers welcome • Caveman garb encouraged • Free food
Overflow parking/shuttle, so please carpool if possible!

Registration is now open!

About the Course: 5K (3.1 miles) hilly aggregate surface on portions of Ansel's Cave Trail and entire Pioneer Bridle Trail • Chip timing by Greater Cleveland XC for 1.5 hours
$20 registration completed online, postmarked by June 2 or in person at Packet Pickup (June 7 & 8, details on form) • $25 registration on Race Day • Free T-shirt for the first 250 people to register!
Race Categories: Ages 10 & under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
Prizes: 1st, 2nd & 3rd place overall by gender & per age division by gender • Awards in both youth and adult costume categories at 8:15 AM • Post-race awards reception in the nature center immediately following the race

Proceeds from the Caveman Crawl 5K Trail benefit Geauga Park District's Chip Henry Institute for Outdoor Adventure. Last year's event drew nearly 400 runners and walkers and raised $11,987! Click below for some blasts from the past.
Photos from 2013Photos from 2012Photos from 2011

Want to train with another Geauga 5K that also promotes increased awareness of National Child Abuse Prevention Month? Click here for a registration form to the Chip Timed 5K Race & Kids 1 Mile FUN RUN on Saturday, April 5, at Punderson State Park in Newbury!

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Nature Arts Festival

Saturday & Sunday, August 2 & 3, 2014, 10 AM-5 PM, at The West Woods

Click here for a 23rd annual Nature Arts Festival exhibitor application, and bookmark this page for festival details and schedules as they become available. Exhibitor applications must be submitted by Thursday, May 1. (NEW! $10 discount for first-time vendors)

Did you know...? The 19th annual Nature Writing Contest gets a freshening-up this year with a new spin on how it's done! First place-winning works will appear in upcoming Voices of Nature newsletters, which hit every mailbox in the county, and runner-up works will be promoted online. Writers will also be invited to read their work during the Nature Arts Festival on Sunday, August 3. Click here for details and an application to enter! Entries must be submitted by Monday, April 21.

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