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Click any of these to go directly to an update.
10/13/14 - Park Board Meeting Schedule
10/13/14 - Upcoming Park Closures
10/9/14 - Request for Qualifications
10/7/14 - Fall Web Updates
10/2/14 - Request for Proposals: Newsletter, Special Mailings
9/30/14 - Public Internet Access
9/29/14 - 2015 Registration Schedule
9/26/14 - Changes: Building Hours, Nature Store, Observatory Park
9/19/14 - What's New with the Something's Afoot Exhibit?
9/10/14 - Proposed Bylaws Revision
7/28/14 - Play Ball! and Other Fun Activities in Your Parks
5/19/14 - Picnic Spot Recommendations
5/13/14 - Burton-Middlefield Rotary Makes Substantial Contribution to Nature Scopes
4/21/14 - What's New with The Maple Highlands Trail?
4/17/14 - Swine Creek Playground Closed for Repairs
2/16/12 - White-nose Syndrome Found at The West Woods
1/28/11 - Social Media and Our Voices of Nature eNewsletter

 

Update: October 13, 2014

Park Board Meeting Schedule

The meeting of the Geauga Park District Board of Park Commissioners scheduled for today (Tuesday) at The West Woods has been cancelled.

Did you know...? The Park Board's most up-to-date meeting schedule is always posted at http://bit.ly/gpdboard.

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Update: October 13, 2014

Upcoming Park Closures

For your safety, the following parks will be closed on the days listed below for the indicated controlled hunting activities. We appreciate your cooperation.

Park

Type of Hunt

Hunting Dates

The West Woods Young Gun Hunt November 22 & 23
The West Woods Regular Shotgun December 1 & 2 ONLY
Big Creek Park Regular Shotgun December 3 & 4 ONLY
Observatory Park Regular Shotgun December 5 & 6 ONLY
Big Creek Park Muzzleloader January 2 & 3 ONLY


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Update: October 9, 2014

Request for Qualifications

Geauga Park District is requesting general statements of qualifications for professional design services for the 2015 & 2016 time period. Design services include but are not limited to land surveying, landscape architecture, engineering, architecture, geo-technical, archaeological and environmental restoration. Click here for details.

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Update: October 7, 2014

Fall Web Updates

With changing leaves come changes on this website! Added already is your fall geocache, Voices of Nature newsletter, Chit Chat volunteer newsletter and printable three-month calendar. To cap it off, check out the new seasonal naturalist video on this website's front page!

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Update: October 2, 2014

Request for Proposals: Newsletter, Special Mailings

Geauga Park District is now requesting proposals for the printing and mailing of four Voices of Nature newsletters and a series of special mailings throughout 2015. Detail documents are here for printing and here for mailing. All proposals must be received by 10 a.m. Monday, November 17, 2014.

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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: September 29, 2014

2015 Registration Schedule

Please note that registration for 2015 reservations will open on the following schedule: December 15 for Geauga County residents, January 1 for all others.

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Update: September 26, 2014

Changes: Building Hours, Nature Store, Observatory Park

Please be aware of the following changes:

If you're headed out to The West Woods Nature Center or Big Creek Park, building hours are now the same for both: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Observatory Park's open house hours are now:
2nd & 4th Fri. and Sat. 6 - 11 PM
2nd & 4th Sun. 1 - 4 PM (planetarium show at 2 PM)

Additionally, In the interest of exercising wise financial stewardship, paired with significantly reduced visitation, the Donald W. Meyer Center in Big Creek Park no longer hosts public visitation on weekends or government holidays.

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Update: September 19, 2014

What's New with the Something's Afoot Exhibit?

We know dinosaur bones have been found all over the country, but did you know that some were found right here in Geauga? Have you ever wanted to see them? It's almost time for your chance! Get the scoop on an upcoming update to our Something's Afoot exhibit on our Special Events page!

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Update: September 10, 2014

Proposed Bylaws Revision

Click here for the proposed revision to the bylaws as presented by the Board of Park Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting.

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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, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, bocce ball court, tetherball, activity field backstop (just added)

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 — soccer goal, 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: May 19, 2014

Picnic Spot Recommendations

Thanks to The News-Herald for prompting us to create this off-the-tops-of-our-heads list of unique picnic spots in Geauga Park District!

Headwaters Park is a great for an impromptu picnic by the water followed by a hike, or vice versa. This park has great access to water, fishing, camping and The Maple Highlands Trail (for those who want to bike to their picnic). Think lots of places to get away from people and enjoy a feeling of wilderness isolation with your meal.

Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park would be great for a small family picnic. There's a playground, small parking lot perfect for bikes and small kid toys, and a mile-long hike. Plus, very little outside traffic appears.

Beartown Lakes Reservation has a few great reservable picnic shelters, but it's worth mentioning a more intimate, single-hexagon-tabled shelter just behind the main shelter that cannot be reserved. It's first come, first served, but totally worth running the risk of picnicking on the open grass if it's occupied. It includes the use of a double grill and trash can. The reservable Minnow Pond Shelter is also small, and nestled in the woods.

For those who want to come to Chardon, the Maple Grove Shelter area of Big Creek Park is very popular. A large shelter can be reserved near a small children's play area; a picnic table is tucked amidst tall pines just beyond; and just beyond that is an enclosed table with a great overlook over a ledge into the woods. Also nearby is a big field for activity and Wild Goose Pond, where people just love to sit and fish. Another, more private shelter at Big Creek is just past Deep Woods Shelter, which is also a great reservable shelter. On the park map you can follow the dashed line from the Deep Woods parking lot area to the end of the spur...see that little tiny square at the end?

If you're looking for a shelter with a fireplace, electricity, two tables and a nearby restroom, you may now consider Orchard Hills Park's Pondside Shelter, which just recently became reservable. The view over the pond is beautiful. And it now features two octagonal and two standard 8-foot picnic tables. Please be mindful, however, of the fact that this scenic shelter has no drive-up access.

The Rookery has a picnic area near the large white silo there. The four tables are uncovered, so they can be directly in the sun, but there are two grills, a large grassy area for playing games, and restrooms not far at all.

Finally, Whitlam Woods is one of those not-well-traveled parks that many would consider a hidden gem for its hiking and bird watching. There's no picnic area per say, but several benches along the trails would make awesome spots for a brown bag picnic, including a particularly beautiful overlook.

Enjoy!

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Update: May 13, 2014

Burton-Middlefield Rotary Makes Substantial Contribution to Nature Scopes

In support of Geauga Park District's Nature Scopes binocular program for county fifth-graders, Burton-Middlefield Rotary Club presented a check for $3,000 at its May 7 meeting, making it the largest civic group donor to the program.

"Burton-Middlefield Rotary believes that Geauga Park District's Nature Scopes program should be available to every fifth-grader in Geauga County," said club treasurer Tracy Jemison. "It is a great educational program that stimulates the students' interest in science. We applaud the Park District for offering this program to the fifth-graders throughout Geauga County."

Nature Scopes is a comprehensive, year-long program aligned with Ohio Science Education Content Standards. It reached 90 percent of county fifth-graders this year, with a goal of reaching 100 percent by the 2015-16 school year.

"But we can only do this with the continued support from individuals and civic organizations like the Burton-Middlefield Rotary," said Teresa Runion, Park District development associate, pictured above with Burton-Middlefield Rotary President Rich Newsome. "The club has contributed to this program for three years, and Geauga Park District is very appreciative of its partnership and support."

Research shows that we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, but there is evidence that nature is critical for a child's healthy development - not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually.

Nature Scopes teaches kids to get outside and get plugged into Nature with binoculars, not plugged into a video game or TV. Since the program's inception in 2003, it has reached 4,300 Geauga kids - and all funds are underwritten by private donations that purchase binoculars and field guides given to the students through this program.

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Update: April 21, 2014

What's New with The Maple Highlands Trail?

Q: Are there any new sections of The Maple Highlands Trail open this spring?

A: The Maple Highlands Trail-South is now open from Durkee Road to State Route 528 southeast of Middlefield, then from Bridge Road to Swine Creek Reservation. Two closed portions are still under construction: those from Durkee Road north to State Route 608 (Headwaters Park entrance) and from State Route 528 southeast of Middlefield to Bridge Road. We will be excited to keep you updated on all the progress this summer, so please visit this site regularly for updates.

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Update: April 17, 2014

Swine Creek Playground Closed for Repairs

Swine Creek Reservation's Woods Edge playground has been closed for repairs until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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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 156 clips of park fun "in the field"!

 

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