Nature Education Programs


LRC Fall-Winter Hours M-F 10am-5pm, Sat. 10-2 unless otherwise noted. Closed M-F 12:30-1:30. The LRC will be closed in observance of the following: Christmas Day December 25 and New Year's Day January 1.  The Classroom and/or building is closed during scheduled classes, programs, hikes and camps. Please refer to the Program Guide and Calendar for these event times.


Yoga, Every Wednesday, 10-11:10am at the Kiwanis Community Center in Fairlawn, lower level.  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 is fully punched!  Your Yoga Instructor is RYT-200 Certified.

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.


Oct-Jan Home School Science Thursdays, Beginning Thursday, October 10 and every other Thursday thereafter, 10:45am-12:00pm, Free, Registration Required and will remain open.  Come to any or all of the classes you want.  Throughout the fall and winter this home school science class will cover general topics in biology, chemistry, natural science, environmental science, ecology, and other related topics.  Each lesson will be accompanied by a hands-on activity and/or an associated craft.  Lessons will be in line with Department of Education guidelines for science grades 1 through 6. 


Night Hike (Full Moon/Cold Moon), Thursday, December 12, 5:30pm, Free, Registration Required.  Learn about and encounter the sights and sounds of the evening as we transition into winter by talking a nature walk through Fort Island Park with the Naturalists.  We'll listen, observe, and discover some of the night life that abounds this time of year and learn some of the lore of the Cold Moon.  Bring a flashlight.  Weather permitting.

Christmas Bird Count, Saturday, December 14, beginning at 10am and anytime throughout the day, Free, Registration preferred.  We are looking for volunteers to give a little of your time this weekend to help us with counting birds for the Annual Christmas Bird Count.  Bird counts will be added to the Greater Akron Audubon Society's database.  This helps to monitor and document bird populations in our area.  See a Naturalist for details or call the LRC direct at 330-668-9518, or you can meet the Naturalists at the Fort Island Park Trailhead at 10am.  You can even count from your own backyard!  Bird ID guides and counting lists will be provided.  Thank you in advance!

Holiday Open House Event, Monday, December 23, 2:00-5:00pm, Free, no registration required.  Stop by and usher in the Yuletide with us during our celebration of the holidays.  Music, crafts, finger painting, trivia and finger snacks will be part of our gathering.  Come dressed as an elf or another one of Santa's helpers and win a prize!

Winter Birding Day, Friday, December 27, 10:30am, Free, no registration required.  Join a Naturalist on a winter bird hike through Fort Island Park this morning.  Winter is a great time to find and see birds that do not migrate and stay in the area for the winter.  Dress warm and bring your binoculars.  We have some extras if you don't have your own.  We'll warm up after the hike with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows while we enjoy conversation.

Reptile Day, Monday, December 30, 2:00-4:00pm, Free, no registration required.  Stop by the LRC anytime during this two-hour time frame to get an up close and personal look at some of our reptiles that call the LRC their home.  Learn about some of the unique features of our turtles, our snakes, and our bearded dragon.  You can even touch or hold one!  Make a reptile craft at one of the tables.


Jr. Animal Care Day, Saturday, January 4, 11:00am, Free, Registration Required.  Here's another chance to get up close and personal with our LRC animals.  During this program, you will learn how to properly handle and take care of our educational ambassadors that make the LRC their home.

Growing Up Wild Winter Edition, Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, 10:00-11:00am, Ages 3-7, Free, Registration Required.  This is a 4-week class that will target some basic concepts in nature, especially as it relates to the winter months.  We will explore winter animals, hibernation, animal tracks, over-wintering birds, tree shapes and those that lose and hold on to their leaves, and more!

Winter Star Gazing, Friday, January 17, 6:30pm, Free, Registration Required.  While northern hemisphere observers can observe a total of 30 constellations at various times of the year, there are seven constellations traditionally associated with the winter months, headed by Orion, with its nearby constellations including Canis Major, Gemini, Taurus, Perseus, Eridanus, and Cetus.  In addition, there are five constellations that are visible throughout the whole year because they are north circumpolar and therefore appear to be orbiting the North Star (Polaris), these being Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor.  Bring your own telescope or use one of ours.  Weather permitting.


Hibernation Station!  Tuesday, February 4, 2:00-3:00pm, Free, no registration required.  Stop in this afternoon for a free mini-class about winter animals and to learn about hibernation, which animals truly hibernate in winter, how and why they hibernate, hear a story, and make a craft.

Full Moon/Supermoon Hike (Snow Moon), Monday, February 10, 5:30pm, Free, Registration Required.  Come learn about what Native Americans refer to as the Full Snow Moon while taking a winter evening stroll through the park with the Natualists.  We'll end our hike with a cup of Hot Chocolate topped with marshmallows.

Valentine's Craft Day, Friday, February 14, 10am-12:30pm and 1:30-4:45pm, Free, no registration required.  Looking to make something special for someone you care about or just want to do something fun?  You can come to the LRC today and make a Valentine's Day related craft.  A variety of supplies will be available in the classroom, just bring your imagination and some love!

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.