What's New home


Click any of these to go directly to an update.
2/3/16 - Burton Christmas Bird Count Results
1/19/16 - Snowmobiling at Observatory Park
1/19/16 - Upcoming Park Closures
1/11/16 - Winter Web Updates
12/10/15 - 2016 Fee Schedule
11/25/15 - Winter Fun (Bird in the Hand, Free Snowshoe Borrowing and More!)
9/30/14 - Public Internet Access
7/28/14 - Play Ball! and Other Fun Activities in Your Parks
2/16/12 - White-nose Syndrome Found at The West Woods





Update: February 3, 2016

Burton Christmas Bird Count Results

This year's count saw the most species ever recorded in our circle - cool! Click here for complete tallies and some notes from Naturalist Linda Gilbert.

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Update: January 19, 2016

Snowmobiling at Observatory Park

Did you know that snowmobiling will soon be allowed, by permit only, at Observatory Park on Saturdays and Sundays this winter? Apply for your permit with this form.

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Update: January 19, 2016

Upcoming Park Closures

There are no currently scheduled park closures. Unscheduled closures are always posted on WKYC and WEWS in Cleveland, as well as to our Facebook and Twitter.

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Update: January 11, 2016

Winter Web Updates

Winter is here! And so are these seasonal web updates...

Winter Geocache

Winter Voices of Nature Newsletter

Winter Chit Chat Volunteer Newsletter

Winter Printable Three-Month Calendar

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Update: December 10, 2015

2016 Fee Schedule

Click here for a summary of approved 2016 fees, including utility costs for the reservation of facilities with climate control.

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Update: November 25, 2015

Winter Fun (Bird in the Hand, Free Snowshoe Borrowing, Sledding and More!)

We know it can be hard to get out during a Northeast Ohio winter, but we've got you covered when it comes to motivation! There's no shortage of great activities to enjoy in your Geauga Park District. But a few ideas:

Bird in the Hand Feeding Station
Head to The West Woods and follow these steps for the magical experience of having wildlife trust you enough to eat from your hand! In optimal conditions, volunteers this year have already reported as many as 60 chickadees in a 20-minute span!

1) Time up your visit for daylight hours and dress warmly - extra layers, hat and gloves - since you will be standing still. If it's between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., stop into the nature center to collect some black oil sunflower seed; otherwise, use a little from the feeder already placed on site. Hand-feeding works best with just one or two people or a small group, like three or four.
2) Follow the Trout Lily Trail, then hang a right at the fork after the boardwalk across the wetlands, following the sign. Soon you'll come upon the feeding station marked by a feeder and a mannequin, "Parker," who keeps the birds familiar with a human presence. (Parker is pretty realistic; then again, birds are fairly easy to fool.)
3) Take down the feeder, hide it under the bucket that's there, extend your hand with some seed in your palm, then wait. Odds are good you'll have a taker if you're patient, enjoying the peace and quiet a handful of minutes or so.

Free Snowshoe Borrowing
Back this year: our popular free snowshoe borrowing program at The West Woods! And did we mention it's FREE?
At least a few inches of snow on the ground is needed, and the deeper the snow, the better.
Registration is preferred at 440-286-9516. Any snowshoes not reserved are available on first-come, first-served basis. Borrowers must be 18+ to check out a pair; anyone younger must be accompanied by an adult, and no one under 40 pounds may use the snowshoes due to their weight.
Snowshoes may not leave The West Woods except for registered programs. Registrants must sign a waiver form and leave a driver's license as a security deposit. Borrowing can take place any time 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and last up to two hours.
For guided snowshoe experiences this winter, visit http://bit.ly/gpdsscall2016 to get your name on our call list for special snowshoe programs that will be "called into action" anytime now through March 1 whenever the snow conditions are right for snowshoeing.

Sledding hills can be found at Orchard Hills Park and Beartown Lakes Reservation. For after-dark sledding at Orchard Hills, find the pole with the "Lights" sign and switch, and please turn the lights off upon the last person's departure.

Cross Country Skiing
Trails are once again being groomed at Orchard Hills Park and along The Maple Highlands Trail between Mountain Run Station in Chardon and Claridon Troy Road. Visit our Facebook wall or Twitter feed for grooming updates.

Cleared Trails for Walking
Park operations crews regularly clear snow from paved walking trails at four parks: Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve in Chardon, Sunnybrook Preserve in Chesterland, Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge, and now on The Maple Highlands Trail-North from Big Creek Spur north to the Lake County line. (The trail will NOT be plowed from the spur south along Route 44 to the Highway Patrol.)

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Update: September 30, 2014

Public Internet Access

Public internet access is now available at Observatory Park, The West Woods Nature Center and Big Creek Park's Meyer Center with the SSID (name) gpPUBLIC and the password GCpublic.

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Update: July 28, 2014

Play Ball! and Other Fun Activities in Your Parks

New baseball backstops are now installed, along with other activity opportunities, just in time for the holiday weekend. Enjoy! (And don't forget to share.)

Bass Lake Preserve — fishing pier

Beartown Lakes Reservation — horseshoe pits, bocce ball court, tetherball

Big Creek Park — soccer goal, tetherball, activity field backstop, sand volleyball

Chickagami Park — soccer goal, horseshoe pits, tetherball, activity field backstop

Frohring Meadows — tetherball

Orchard Hills Park — orchard-themed playground

Swine Creek Reservation — soccer goal, horseshoe pits, tetherball, activity field backstop

Sunnybrook Preserve — horseshoe pits, bocce ball court, tetherball

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Update: February 16, 2012

White-nose Syndrome Found at The West Woods

Click here for today's unfortunate news, that bats hibernating at The West Woods are affected by white-nose syndrome (WNS). For a federally kept map of all the sites WNS has been found, click here.

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