Nature Education Programs


LRC Spring M-F 10am-5pm, Sat. 10-2 unless otherwise noted. Closed M-F 12:30-1:30. The LRC will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day and Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day.  The Classroom and/or building is closed during scheduled classes, programs, and camps.  Please refer to the Summer Program Guide and Calendar for these event times.


Yoga, Every Wednesday, 10-11:15am at the Kiwanis Community Center in Fairlawn.  You can buy a 5 class pass or a 10 class pass.  You may buy a pass and join the class anytime.  Attend when you can and get your card punched at each visit.  Registration is ongoing.  You may buy a pass online or in person.  Your first class is free!  You also get a free class once your card if fully punched!

Nature Hikes will take place as part of scheduled programs, at random (will be posted on Facebook), or upon request for families or groups of 5 or more.  If your group would like to schedule a general or specific hike with a Naturalist please call the Learning Resource Center or email to schedule your hike.

Please register for all programs listed by clicking the following link. Go to to register or click free & paid programs link below.



Bird Hike, Monday, June 3 at 10:00am.  No Registration required.  Stroll through the park with a Naturalist to look for and learn how to identify some of the summer birds that make Fort Island their home this time of year.  Bring your binoculars and your love of birds!

Wildflower Hike, Thursday, June 6 at 3:45pm.  No Registration required.  Take a leisurely afternoon hike through the park with a Naturalist to search out and identify some of the beautiful summer plants and wildflowers found blooming this time of year.

Nature Skills Camp: Chickadees, Monday-Wednesday, June 10-12, ages 4-6, 10am-12pm, $8/$6 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Learn the basics of the natural world including how to group animal species, identify habitats, and learn about ecosystems.  Games, hikes, and crafts included with each lesson.

Dino Roar! Camp, Thursday-Friday, June 13-14, ages 4-10, 10:30am-12pm, $5/$4 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Learn about the many different kinds of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals through fun activities, crafts and more.

Blades and Blooms, Monday-Tuesday, June 17-18, ages 6+, 10am-12pm, $5/$4 Fairlawn Residents,.  Registration Required.  Trees, plants, flowers, and seeds have some pretty cool biology!  Learn plant and flower parts, how to identify edible plants and plants growing at Fort Island Park, the importance and practice of planting native plants, and about pollinators of those plants and flowers. Participants will press their own collected specimens to take home.

Introduction to Archery, Monday-Friday, June 24-28, ages 8+, 10:30am-12pm, $35/$30 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required. This introductory class is for beginners or those who have had no or little archery experience and wants to experience the wonderful sport of hands-on archery practice.  Archery field rules, techniques, and lots of target practice will be covered during the week.  Equipment provided.  Certificates of completion will be awarded to those who complete successfully and attend all 5 class sessions.  Adults welcome.


Open Archery (All levels), Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, July 1, 2, 3, 5, ages 8+/Families, 5:00-6:30pm, $30/$25 Fairlawn Residents. Registration Required.  Archery fun for the whole family!  This is a time for some family bonding as kids and their adult guardians get to practice bow and arrow skills together.  Single students as well as pairs or families are all welcome.

Nature Skills Camp: Ravens, Monday-Wednesday, July 8-10, ages 6-9, 10:00am-12:00pm, $8/$6 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Participants will learn more in depth about the natural world including global ecosystems, endangered species, and conservation.  Games, hikes, and crafts included with each lesson.

Introduction to Birding, Friday, July 12, 10:00am, FREE.  Registration Required.  Learn about the basics of birding including basic bird biology and behavior, equipment, and identification.  Most of our time will be spent out in the field looking for birds, observing their behavior, and identifying them by their markings and sounds.  If you have your own binoculars, please bring them.  We have some child ones for the kids.  Weather permitting.

Beetles, Bees, and Butterflies (and other Bugs) Camp!  Monday - Thursday, July 15-18, ages 7+, 10:00am-12:00pm, $12/$10 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Learn some of the basic taxonomic orders of terrestrial and aquatic insects and go insect hunting with nets and traps.  You will catch, identify, pin, preserve, your insects and make your very own insect collection boxes to take your collection home!

Little Beetles Bug Program, Friday, July 19, ages 3-6, 10:30am-12:00pm, FREE.  Registration Required.  This free bug program is geared toward the little ones for an up-close and personal look at the wonder and beauty of insects.  They will learn what an insect is, the parts of an insect, and then go insect hunting in the park to see what they can find and catch.  They will then be able to bring their catches back to the building for a closer examination and identification of what they caught.

Bird Hike, Saturday, July 20, 10:00am, FREE.  No registration required.  Stroll through the park with a Naturalist and learn how to identify some of the birds that make Fort Island their home for the summer.  Bring your binoculars and your love of birds!

Survival Skills Camp, Saturday, July 20, ages 8+, 2:30-6:00pm, $5/$4 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Concepts include how to stock your backpack, orienteering with a compass, identification of edible and poisonous plants, basic first aid skills, how to make a fire, how to build a shelter, and how to filter water.

Nature Skills Camp: Eagles, Monday-Wednesday, July 22-24, ages 9-12, 1:30-3:30pm, $8/$6 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Learn in depth about the ecology of Ohio, hiking safety and orienteering, identification of the flora and fauna of Fort Island Park, and facts about the role of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Wildlife.  Games, hikes, and crafts included with each lesson.

FUN with summer FUNGI and Lichens, Thursday, July 25, 5:00pm, FREE.  Registration Required.  Fungi and lichens are cool up close!  Participants will learn basic fungi anatomy and biology, and learn some identification clues for some common Ohio mushrooms and lichens.  We will go on a hike to seek out these treasures and bring back a small collection to ID and look at under the microscope.

Mixed Media Art Camp, Monday-Wednesday, July 29-31, ages 6+, 2:00-4:00pm, $20/$15 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required. Explore your imagination through art by experimenting with watercolors, acrylics, oils, fluid art, and Sculpey clay.


Nature Hike, Thursday, August 1 at 10:30am and/or Friday, August 2 at 3:30pm, FREE.  No registration required.  Learn about Fort Island Park, its flora and fauna, and some of the historical lore of the area.

Leaves, Bark, and Seeds Camp, Monday-Tuesday, August 5-6, ages 5+, 10:00am-12:00pm, $5/$4 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Most of this camp involves exploring the trees, bark and seeds of the forested areas of Fort Island Park.  Participants will learn about the parts of a tree, how to identify a tree by its leaves, bark and seeds, and each person will make a leaf collection to take home.

Clouds, Tornadoes, Volcanoes, and Rocks! Thursday-Friday, August 8-9, ages 5+, 10:00am-12:00pm, $5/$4 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Participants will learn the science behind various weather conditions and other geophysical aspects of earth science.  You will learn how to identify different cloud formations, how a tornado develops, the make-up of a volcano, and how rocks and minerals are formed.

Space Camp, Monday-Thursday, August 12-15, ages 5+, 1:45-3:45pm, $12/$10 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Participants will learn about our solar system, the planets, Milky Way, the Moon, moon landings and spacecraft.  They will also learn some constellations and other aspects of space science.  Those attending will have the opportunity to make a solar system mobile, make a fluid art planet, and also build a rocket to launch!

Bird Hike, Friday, August 16, 3:00pm, FREE.  No registration required.  Here's another opportunity to get with some other local birders and a Naturalist to explore Fort Island Park for the late summer birds as fall migration beings.  Bring binoculars and your continued love of birds!


After School Archery, 6 weeks, Mondays, September 9-October 14, 4:15-5:45pm, ages 8+, $35/$30 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  If you've attended our previous archery classes this year or in years past or you have some experience with a bow and arrow from somewhere else consider signing up for this after school opportunity to practice with others, learn more techniques, and hone your skills.  All equipment provided or bring your own.  Adults welcome.

Mixed Media Art Nights for Adults, Thursdays, September 5, 12, 19, 26, 6:00-8:00pm, 18+, $25/$20 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  Attend one or as many nights as you like or sign up for all four.  We will guide you through the use of mixed media to create some individual and unique artwork.  We will dabble in watercolors, acrylics (used for fluid art), oils, and pencil or pastels/charcoal drawings.  No experience necessary!  Just bring your determination and imagination.  Enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks while you make art!

Early Fall Bird Hike, Friday, September 6, 10:00am, FREE.  No registration required.  Fall migration will be in full swing so this will be a good time to not only see some birds that occupy Fort Island Park in the early fall, but to catch a glimpse of some birds that only pass through here on their migration routes.  Bring your binoculars, and of course your love of birds!

Little Sprouts, Tuesdays, September 10, 17, 24, 10:30am-11:45am, ages 3-6, $4/$3 Fairlawn Residents.  Registration Required.  We'll spend time outdoors exploring the park and taking a closer look at the natural world that surrounds us in the fall.  Full of discovery, activities, and crafts.

Fall Wildflower Hike, Friday, September 20, 3:45pm, FREE.  No registration required.  Hike through the park with a Naturalist to search out and identify some of the beautiful fall plants and wildflowers found blooming this time of year.  You will especially learn the differences among several different species of Goldenrods that grows around the park.

Did you know...

Fort Island Park and Fairlawn Park (Oxbow) Hikes

The Naturalists will be offering hikes throughout the year as part of scheduled programs and as separate hike events to be posted on our calendar and on social media.  If you have any group of 5 or more that would like to schedule a general or specific hike with a Naturalist please call the Learning Resource Center or email to schedule your personalized hike.

Garlic Mustard Pull Volunteers Needed!

If you, your family, school group, scout troop, or any other group is looking for a volunteer opportunity to help maintain our parks, then we need you!  Garlic Mustard is an invasive plant that is taking over areas of the park and choking out the native plants, and we need you to help us get rid of it so that our native plants can thrive keeping our parks as biologically diverse as possible.  Please contact a Naturalist by phone or email to schedule a Garlic Mustard Pull.

Looking to complete Scout Badge requirements?

If you any scout or scouting troop (daisies, brownies, lion's den, webelos, girl scouts, cub scouts, boy scouts, etc.) and are looking to fulfill badge requirements we can help with that.  We can help your scout or troop with requirements by providing content for badges such as home scientist, recycling, insects, geology, forestry, and many others.  We have a wonderful resource here with the Learning Resource Center and natural outdoors of Fort Island Park.  Please call or email a Naturalist to schedule your scout or troop.

Home Schoolers

If you are a home schooler or have a larger home school group, consider scheduling your child or group for a Home School Science Program at the Learning Resource Center/Fort Island Park.  We can accommodate just about any home school science topic upon request.  Also, watch for our nature programs and two-day home school science camps offered periodically that may suit your needs.  Ask for a program request form today!

The Naturalists travel, too!

The Naturalists will come to you!  We travel to schools, daycares, senior groups, nursing homes, and other formal settings.  Ask for a program request form by calling or emailing a Naturalist and schedule a visit soon!

QUESTIONS: 330-668-9518 Email T Dunn or email the Parks Department

The Naturalists are proud to offer a variety of free and paid nature education programs for all ages. All Nature Programs are held at Fort Island Park Learning Resource Center and the surrounding park. The Learning Resource Center is located at 413 Trunko Road in Fairlawn. 330.668.9518. We also visit schools and other places upon request. Please fill out the online form to request a visit and submit the donation amount.

Have a scout troop working on a merit badge? We can help with that! We can help your scout or troop with partial fulfillment of requirements as needed to complete their merit badges (i.e. daisy scout subjects, forestry or geology for boy scouts). We also welcome scouts who would like to work on a scout project at one of our parks. Call the number above or email one of the Naturalists to inquire. Click for more information about Girl Scout Badges, Boy Scout and Cub Scout Badges, and Community and School Visits.

Have questions about after school programs or test prep help in the sciences? Just contact a Naturalist at the number or email listed above.

We welcome your suggestions as to program ideas that you would like to see us implement. Stop in, send a note, or give us a call.