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Events

Family fun days, festivals, nature walks and so much more!

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March 1

Spring Birding Challenge

Preregister By 03/31/2019 12:00 am
Location Elkhart County
More info Cost: $10/team Ages: All
Register now

Spring Birding Challenge

Birders of all experience levels are invited to create a team for some friendly competition this spring. Each birding team will work together to find as many birds as possible within Elkhart County from March through May. The challenge will conclude with a pizza party, photo show, and cheers for all participants (and birds).

HOW TO COMPETE

STEP 1: Have a team of 2–4 adults (and any number of kids)
In all levels, at least 2 members of the team must see the bird for it to count.

STEP 2: Choose your team’s level

  • Beginner: Ideal for families just beginning to learn the common birds of Indiana
  • Experienced: Birders who typically see 80-100 species
  • Advanced: Birders who see 200 species or more

STEP 3: Record your sightings (March–May)
All sightings will be recorded on a shared Google doc and can be updated by team members at any time.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Register and pay team fee of $10 before March 31

March 5

Nature Nuts: Life Cycles

March 5, 2019 at 9:30 AM

Preregister By 03/02/2019 12:00 am
Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: $4/child, $3/additional sibling (Limit 12) Ages: 3–5
Register now

Nature Nuts: Life Cycles

March 5, 2019 at 9:30 AM

Preschoolers are invited to learn about the amazing life cycles of animals through fun hands-on activities and stories. From hatching eggs to growing wings, discover how different creatures change and grow.

March 6

Wednesday Bird Walk: Ox Bow

March 6, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: Free Ages: All

Wednesday Bird Walk: Ox Bow

March 6, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Woodpeckers, wrens, and owls are just a few of the year-long residents found in Ox Bow County Park. See these birds up close at the feeding station and learn tips on how to spot them on a group walk. Plan to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.

March 14

Tails to Trails

March 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM

More info Cost: Free Ages: All

Tails to Trails

March 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Explore River Preserve County Park through your dog’s eyes. Signs will be placed along the path, so visitors can choose to walk at their own pace with their dogs or join the group for a naturalist-guided walk. Water and doggy bags will be available for all dogs. All dogs must be on a leash and controlled at all times.

Meet at Benton Dam Parking Lot adjacent to Benton Shelter (Directions Here).

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day Photo Scavenger Hunt

Location Ox Bow
More info Cost: Free Ages: All

St. Patrick’s Day Photo Scavenger Hunt

This St.Patrick’s Day, grab your cell phone, and bring the family out for a fun nature photo scavenger hunt at Ox Bow County Park! This year, treasure hunters have the choice between a Creative Family Hunt (1–3 p.m.) and an advanced-level Clue Challenge Hunt (4:30–6:30 p.m.) for adults who enjoy putting their detective skills to the test. Prizes will be awarded.

Creative Family Hunt (1–3 p.m.)

1) Stop by the gatehouse to pick up the scavenger hunt list.
2) Explore the park and snap photos on your cell of all items on the list as you find them. Be creative and have fun!
3) Post at least one photo to the Elkhart County Parks’ Facebook page using the hashtag #ECPHUNT, before 3 p.m.
4) Return to the gatehouse to get a fun prize for everyone in your group.

Clue Challenge Hunt (4:30–6:30 p.m.)

1) Stop by the gatehouse to pick up the clue list during hunt hours (give yourself enough time…you might have to do a little hiking).
2) Note your specific “hunt number” (at the top of the clue list). You will need this when posting photos later.
3) Following the clues, seek out and locate all 10 golden shamrocks hidden in the park.
4) DO NOT COLLECT the shamrocks, but instead snap your photo with each one.
5) Once you have your photos, post them in a single album on the Elkhart County Parks’ Facebook page titled with your hunt number and be sure to hashtag #ECPHUNT. Make sure your account is public or we won’t be able to see your photos!  Once you’ve completed this step, you are eligible to win a prize!
6) At 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30pm, 6 winning hunt numbers will be drawn and announced at Ox Bow Haus Shelter.  You must be present to win your choice of prizes if your hunt number is drawn.  If you are not present, your number will be returned to the pot for the next drawing, a half hour later.

The Elkhart County Parks reserves the right to remove any photos and disqualify hunt numbers if photos are of an inappropriate nature.

March 19

Hiking Club

March 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Preregister By 03/18/2019 12:00 am
More info Cost: Free Ages: All
Register now

Hiking Club

March 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Join the Hiking Club and learn about the abundant trails and amenities offered by the Elkhart County Parks. Hiking Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month unless otherwise noted. Each month, Hiking Club meets at a different location and experiences a new trail. Sign up once and enjoy the entire 2019 schedule of hikes. In March, we will hike a 1.5-mile loop at Ox Bow County Park. The trail is mostly flat terrain.

March 19

Nature Readers Books Club

March 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Preregister By 03/16/2019 12:00 am
Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: Free Ages: All
Register now

Nature Readers Books Club

March 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Nature Readers will discuss The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton Porter, a a book that examines the healing power that nature and kindness can have upon someone’s life. Come prepared to discuss the book with others.

March 20

Yoga in the Parks

March 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Preregister By 03/19/2019 12:00 am
More info Cost: $10/person Ages: 14+
Register now

Yoga in the Parks

March 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Join Registered Yoga Teacher Amanda for an hour of empowering yoga in the parks. Enjoy guided practice welcoming of all skill levels in a relaxing park environment. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, bring water and their own mats – a limited number of mats will be available for use.

March 21

Stories of Elkhart: Natural Disasters

March 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM

More info Cost: FREE Ages: All

Stories of Elkhart: Natural Disasters

March 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM

We are only one year away from the spring flood of 2018 when rain devasted Elkhart and other towns around Michaina. This program will explore major flooding, snow storms and tornadoes that have taken place throughout our history and hear about how communities recovered in the aftermath.

March 22

Beavers of Elkhart County

March 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Preregister By 03/21/2019 12:00 am
More info Cost: FREE Ages: All

Beavers of Elkhart County

March 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM

– SOLD OUT –  Beavers are abundant in Indiana but rarely seen. Where do they live and what are their habits? Join a naturalist to discover the significance of the beaver’s role in our environment. See a beaver lodge and trees being cut by beavers. Skulls, a beaver mount, skins and beaver scat will help participants appreciate the beaver and its lifestyle.

March 22

Timberdoodle Trek

March 22, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Preregister By 03/21/2019 11:59 pm
More info Cost: Free (Limit 30) Ages: All

Timberdoodle Trek

March 22, 2019 at 7:00 PM

– SOLD OUT – It may have the build of a chubby sandpiper, but during courtship, a male American Woodcock (aka “Timberdoodle”) becomes a master acrobat of the sky. In this special evening bird walk, join us as we embark on a twilight trek at Boot Lake Nature Preserve to catch a glimpse of Timberdoodles spiraling in the sky. Participants are encouraged to bring hiking boots, bug spray, and wear long pants for the prairie.

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