Nature Education Programs

Due to COVID-19, Programming is suspended indefinitely


LRC Spring 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 Memorial Day on May 25.  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.  Follow us on Facebook and watch for closures, pop-up programs and hikes, get nature education and tips, and see pics from our programs!


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.


March-May Home School Science Thursdays, Beginning Thursday, March 12 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. 


Spring Amphibians Native to Ohio

Monday, March 9 10:30am, $3/$2 Fairlawn Residents All Ages.  It’s that time of year again when some of our native amphibians start to emerge. You will learn about native frogs, toads and salamanders along with some of their calls. We will hike to look for them in the park. The class will end with receiving an Amphibians of Ohio ID booklet and making a toad abode craft to take home to place in your own garden.

St. Patrick’s Day Craft

Tuesday, March 17 1:30pm-5:00pm.  Stop in and make a fun craft to celebrate the luck of the Irish!

Nature Cadets

Tuesdays, March 17, 24, 31 10:30am-11:45am,  $4/$3 Fairlawn Residents Ages: 4-8.  These three days will be filled with various spring related topics such as spring life and habitats, life cycles, designs of nature, hikes and more that connect children to nature through developmentally appropriate hands-on experience and nature play.

Sand Art

Friday, March 20 1:30pm-3:00pm, $2/$1 Fairlawn Residents.  Make a fun piece of art with different colors of sand in a variety of bottle shapes.

Spring Hike

Wednesday, March 25 2:00pm.  Take a guided hike through Fort Island Park with a Naturalist to experience the magic of spring as we explore what plant and animal life is emerging during this early season of spring.

Reading the History of the Forest

Saturday, March 28 10:00am-11:30am.  Come on a hike with a Naturalist to learn how to read the history of the forest. We will learn how to see evidence of historic events in a forested landscape. Then we will see if we can match our evidence to recorded events such as large storms, logging or other major events in our parks.


Spring Birds and Wildflower Hike

Tuesday, April 7 10:30am.  Join a Naturalist on a hike through Fort Island Park to look for spring birds and wildflowers popping up. Learn a little about them and how to ID them.  Registered participants will receive a free spring bird and/or wildflower ID booklet (while supplies last). Registration will guarantee that you receive a booklet (one booklet per family).

Chinese Brush Painting

Thursday, April 16 6:00pm-8:00pm $8/$6 Fairlawn Residents Teens and Adults.  Influenced by Taoism, Chinese brush painting artists look for the essence of a landscape, flower, bird, or person and reveal it in their work. You will create your own beautiful, expressive art by learning the brushstrokes most often used in this classic art form. This practice will provide the perfect starting points for your own interpretations.

Earth Day Event

Saturday, April 18 10:00am-2:00pm (Hike at noon).  Stop in and pick up some Milkweed sprouts, learn about gardening, planting native plants, shrubs, and trees, plant some seeds to take home, make an Earth Day craft, and go on a nature walk through the park with a Naturalist.

Spring Fungi Hike and ID

Thursday, April 23 10:45am.  Participants will learn about basic fungi biology and natural history. We’ll explore Fort Island Park and learn identification tips while hunting for these little treasures. Fungi craft included.

Japanese Knotweed Craft

Saturday, April 25 10:00am-11:30am.  Bring your imagination and learn about this invasive plant. We will start with a hike to find, identify and harvest Japanese knotweed. With our findings, we will make small containers, flower crowns and more. Harvesting invasive plants is a great way to get natural crafting material while also helping native plants.


Weekly Wild Edibles

Saturdays in May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 10:00am-11:00am.  Our woods, fields and ditches are full of useful and edible plants. Every Saturday in May we will learn a new wild edible, how to positively identify edible plants and how to responsibly use wild resources. We will also learn what time of year is best to harvest and how to properly prepare wild plants for free healthy food.

May Day Ribbon Craft

Friday, May 1 2:00pm-4:00pm.  Have some fun today as we celebrate May Day and the month of May by making some ribbon crafts.

Mother’s Day Crafts

Friday, May 8 10:00am-5:00pm.  Visit the LRC today and take the time to make something special and from the heart for Mother’s Day using a variety of our craft items.

Fluid Art

Wednesday, May 13 3:00pm-5:00pm $10/$8 Fairlawn Resident Ages 6 and up.  Also known as paint pouring, flow art, liquid art is a form of abstract art that uses acrylic paints with a runny (fluid)consistency. The acrylic paints react with each other when combined together to make interesting and visually organic motifs. This type of art is fun for all ages. Fluid acrylics can be used on many types of substrates and in many different forms such as pouring, dripping, swirling, glazing, dipping and many other effects. Fluid art opens up a lot of possibilities and is definitely worth exploring and adding to your artist tool belt.

Atlatl and the Ice Age

Thursday, May 14 6:00pm-7:00pm.  Early humans followed the retreating glaciers and lived all throughout Ohio. Wooly mammoth, sabretooth cats and giant sloths dominated the landscape. Come learn about this fascinating period and try your hand at throwing a real Atlatl.

School’s Out Spring Campfire & S’mores!

Friday, May 29 5:30pm.  Join us in celebrating the end of the school year and the approach of summer solstice with a campfire and s’mores. Hang out, enjoy the evening, play some games. Weather permitting.

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.