What's New home


Click any of these to go directly to an update.
11/25/15 - Winter Fun (Bird in the Hand, Free Snowshoe Borrowing and More!)
11/18/15 - Park Board Meeting Change
10/29/15 - Girl Scout Partnership: Winter Bird Painting
10/28/15 - Now Accepting Small Research Grant Proposals
10/28/15 - Holiday Giving Tree
10/22/15 - Program Rescheduling: "Meet the Meteorites"
10/16/15 - Fall Web Updates
10/8/15 - Connect Fall Photo Contest
8/3/15 - Upcoming Park Closures
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
1/28/11 - Social Media and Our Voices of Nature eNewsletter



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.
Want a little extra guidance? Register for this program on Saturday, December 19! And for more 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: November 18, 2015

Park Board Meeting Change

The December 8 meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners has been moved to 2:30 p.m. but remains at Big Creek Park. Click here for the Park Board schedule.

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Update: October 29, 2015

Girl Scout Partnership: Winter Bird Painting

Like to paint or want to try your hand at a fun art project? Girl Scout Shannon Stanforth is working with Geauga Park District toward her prestigious Gold Award, and wanted us to let you all know about a great opportunity she's creating on Sunday, January 10.

From 1 to 4 p.m., gather at The West Woods to visit the Bird in the Hand hand-feeding station, then return to the nature center to use the experience to serve as inspiration for painting! "Our paintings will capture the memories we made and remind us of the importance of protecting, conserving and connecting," Shannon writes.

Connect with Nature, create a masterpiece, and make new friends along the way! Class size is limited. To participate, just RSVP at 17.shannon.stanforth@westg.org or (440) 221-6430.

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Update: October 28, 2015

Now Accepting Small Research Grant Proposals

Geauga Park District is pleased to solicit applications for the 2016 Research Grants Program now through January 15, 2016. This program is designed to enable interested scientists to expand their research efforts while directing their projects towards problems of pressing conservation concern in Geauga Park District. Click here to find links to more information about this program, as well as a proposal form.

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Update: October 28, 2015

Holiday Giving Tree

Tucked within the Meyer Center in Big Creek Park, a Holiday Giving Tree will be collecting items throughout the holiday season for residents of two important community organizations, Pleasant Hill Home and WomenSafe.

The tree will accept donations from Tuesday, November 17, through Friday, December 18, at Big Creek Park, 9160 Robinson Road, Chardon Township. Requested donations include body wash, deodorant, disposable razors, shaving cream, men’s white socks, mittens, gloves, scarves and hats.

Pleasant Hill Home, located on Aquilla Road, is committed to offering a welcoming, homey place to live for Geauga County’s residents in need. WomenSafe is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit domestic violence shelter and resource center in its 35th year of service to survivors of domestic violence. The Meyer Center is fully wheelchair/stroller accessible. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.

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Update: October 22, 2015

Program Rescheduling: "Meet the Meteorites"

Due to Geauga Park District-wide building closures the day after Thanksgiving, the "Meet the Meteorites" program previously scheduled for November 27 at Observatory Park has been moved to Saturday, November 28. Thank you for noting the change.

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Update: October 16, 2015

Fall Web Updates

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

Connect Fall Photo Contest

Fall Geocache

Fall Voices of Nature Newsletter

Fall Chit Chat Volunteer Newsletter

Fall Printable Three-Month Calendar

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Update: October 8, 2015

Connect Fall Photo Contest

Summer's first-place winner Geoff Root (top below), taken on The Maple Highlands Trail
Summer's second-place winner Chase Dye (bottom below), taken at Orchard Hills Park
Spring's first-place winner Gary Thomas, taken at The West Woods
Spring's second-place winner Jane Gale, taken at Bass Lake Preserve
Winter's first-place winner Steve E. Zavoda III, taken at The Rookery
Winter's second-place winner Kim Greve Tomba, taken at The West Woods

Want to enter the Connect Fall Photo Contest?
Here's everything you need to know:

Your pictures taken in Geauga Park District that feature Autumn, Giving and "the Season" — and yes, selfies are welcome.

How to Win: Post your photos to our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram using #gpdfall. Submissions will be added to our Facebook page the last week of December, and the two that receive the most "likes" within a week win!

Prize: First place gets framed and acknowledged by the Park Board; first and second place photographers each win a pint of real maple syrup, plus lots of attention on our
social media!

Contest Rules:

  • All submissions may be used for Geauga Park District promotions given proper photo credit, and may even be featured in our 2016 desktop CD case calendar!
  • Submissions must include #gpdsummer, name of photographer and name of park where they were taken to be considered.
  • Geauga Park District retains the sole discretion over the selection of, and decision not to select, any particular entry as the winner.
  • Submitted photos must be your own work and you must own the rights to distribute the image; you will retain ownership and all other rights to your image.
  • You must have the consent of those whose faces are visible.
  • By entering the contest, you agree to these rules and to indemnify and hold harmless Geauga Park District from any issues, losses or actions emanating from or in relation to this photo contest. This would include any losses or issues related to third-party claims or copyright infringement or violations of personal privacy.

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Update: August 3, 2015

Upcoming Park Closures

To ensure safety during this year's Controlled Hunting Program, rangers will block public entrance to Observatory Park on November 30 through December 6 for shotgun season; to Big Creek Park on December 26 for shotgun season; and to Observatory Park again January 2 through 5 for muzzleloader season. We appreciate your cooperation with these closures for everyone's safety - thank you.

Both The West Woods Nature Center and Big Creek Park's Donald W. Meyer Center will be closed on November 26 & 27 (Thanksgiving & day after Thanksgiving), December 25 (Christmas) and January 1 (New Year's Day).

There are no other 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: 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 (just added)

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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Update: January 28, 2011

Social Media and Our Voices of Nature eNewsletter

It's never been easier to find out what's going on at your Geauga Park District! Click here to receive our new Voices of Nature eNewsletter, featuring pictures, articles and upcoming programs; "Like" us on Facebook or "Follow" us on Twitter for daily updates and special insights from our experienced naturalist team; or check out our YouTube page, featuring more than 150 clips of park fun "in the field"!


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