Saturday, January 20, 2018

Geauga Park District
January 10, 2018 by Staff Report | No Comments

For more information on these programs, contact the park district at 440-286-9516 or visit them online at


For more information on these programs, contact the park district at 440-286-9516 or visit them online at

Winter At Observatory Park

Observatory Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Montville Township, and naturalist (“Astro-Nat”) Chris Mentrek is eager to show guests around the International Dark Sky Park during the following special programs all season long.

The historic Nassau Astronomical Station at 10350 Clay St., will host Nassau Night Sky Viewings on Saturdays, Jan. 13 and 27, Feb. 10, 17 and 24, and March 10 and 24, all from 7-11 p.m. If conditions aren’t favorable, enjoy a planetarium show instead at the Robert McCullough Science Center. Members of the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society participate on Feb. 17.

Back at the main campus at 10610 Clay St., enjoy full moon programs on Jan. 2 (the wolf moon), from 7-8 p.m.; and March 1 (the worm moon), from 7-8 p.m.

End January with a partial lunar eclipse on Jan. 31. Using telescopes for an early-morning glimpse of Earth’s shadow darkening the “blue moon” from 6:30-8 a.m. Cloudy skies will cancel this program; call the Observatory Park hotline, 440-279-0820, for notice.

During Bring In Your Telescope on Feb. 24 from 3-5 p.m., park district staff will help guests get the most enjoyable astronomy experience out of their equipment and offer a few maintenance tips.

Sign up for the Full Moon Rising glass painting workshop on March 30, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., to paint a rising moon motif on a set of two drinking glasses, which may be used as candle holders, with Jeannie Carder Shimek from Artifacts Gift Studio. A $30 fee covers all materials and refreshments, including non-alcoholic beverages; participants may also bring their own beverage of choice.

Scouting opportunities return to Observatory Park on Jan. 27 – Wolf Cub Scout Paws on the Path from 2-3:30 p.m. and Cadette Girl Scouts Night Owl Badge from 6-8 p.m.; and Feb. 10 – Bear Cub Scouts Fur, Feathers & Ferns Core Adventure from 2-3:30 p.m. and Senior & Ambassador Girl Scouts Astronomy Night from 6-8 p.m.

Hands-on astronomy education will be offered during hour-long programs Fridays, 7-8 p.m.: Jan. 12 and 26 – Plants in Space; Feb. 9 and 23 – Mapping the Milky Way; and March 9 and 23 – Weather Satellites & How To Use Them, followed by night sky until 11 p.m. if weather permits.

Astro-Nat Chris will open the Robert McCullough Science Center and Oberle Observatory on Sundays, Jan. 14 and 28, Feb. 11 and 25, and March 11 and 25, , from 1-4 p.m., all featuring The Sky Tonight Planetarium Shows at 2 p.m.

Registration is required for the Scouting programs and glass painting workshop. Learn more about Observatory Park any time of day or night online at

Now Accepting Snowmobiling Applications

Geauga Park District is accepting applications for snowmobiling permits this winter. Snowmobiling will be allowed only in Observatory Park in Montville Township, every day when conditions are right from sunrise to sunset, by permit only.

In partnership with Geauga Park District, the Ohio State Snowmobiling Association (OSSA) will be tracking trails with their snowmobiles and grooming equipment. The presence of these tracks will let park patrons know conditions are right for snowmobiling at Observatory Park.

While other trail users will be allowed on trails, they will need to yield to snowmobile traffic. Additionally, with 21 open parks and more than 75 trails totaling more than 60 miles, trail users are encouraged to take advantage of other parks and trail systems this winter. Geauga Park District offers something for everyone, including free snowshoe borrowing at The West Woods, the grooming of cross country skiing trails at Orchard Hills Park and The Maple Highlands Trail, and The West Woods’ Bird in the Hand Feeding Station.

To obtain an application for a snowmobiling permit, visit the park district website and scroll down to the yellow Bulletin Board.

For those interested, the Ohio State Snowmobiling Association also holds free snowmobile safety classes in the winter. Visit for information.

Learn to Snowshoe

Jan. 20, 9-11 a.m.

The West Woods, Nature Center

Learn the basics of snowshoeing including proper clothing, types of equipment and proper technique. Indoor presentation followed by outdoor instruction and a snowshoe hike. Borrow a pair of ours or bring your own. Ages 8 and older.

Armchair Adventures Return

The popular Armchair Adventures Travelogues series return to The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township. Registration is not required.

Since the debut travelogue in 2006, an average crowd is 100 people. Many presenters also bring maps, souvenirs or the backpacks right off their backs so people can see what is involved in taking such a trip. These items are set up in the back of the room for pre- and post- examination and questions.

The following travelogues can be enjoyed on the following designated Sundays from 2-3 p.m.:

Explore the Azores: Jan. 14

Photographer Joanne Orichella travels to Terceira Island, one of the volcanic islands in the Azores located in the North Atlantic off the coast of Portugal.

The Four Jewels of California: Jan. 21

Bill and Sue Berger revisit their travels to four of California’s gems of nature: Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite and Death Valley.

Wild Orchids Across North America: Feb. 4

Tom Sampliner, photographer and past Native Plant Society president, shares his longtime interest in wild orchids that has taken him to many places throughout North America seeking out native orchids. Presented in conjunction with the Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio.

Thoroughbred Racing – In Search of a Triple Crowner: Feb. 11

Naturalists Tami Gingrich and Linda Gilbert share photos of their recent trip to the picturesque rolling pastures of the Kentucky Bluegrass. Tour some of the premiere thoroughbred farms in the country, view early morning workouts at two racetracks, visit the grave of beloved Secretariat and get an up-close encounter with the 2015 Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah.

Wandering Ohio – A Buckeye Trail Thru-Hike: Feb. 18

In 2016, Chuck and Beth Hewett completed a 1,400-mile, 76-day hike on the Buckeye Trail, the longest loop trail in the nation. They will share their journey with pictures and stories about history, nature and all the wonderful people they met along the way.

Iceland – Land of Ice, Ash & Waterfalls: Feb. 25

Join Shane Wohlken on a journey down Highway 1, winding its way through the breathtaking scenery of Iceland: waterfalls, mountains, crater lakes, glaciers, icebergs and seaside towns.

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