Hendricks County Parks & Recreation
January, 2017
Happy New Year!

All of us at Hendricks County Parks & Recreation wish you and your family a happy and memorable 2017, full of adventure, excitement and exploration!

It may be winter, but we have plenty of indoor and outdoor activities at McCloud Nature Park, Sodalis Nature Park, and the Vandalia Trail for families to enjoy during the month of January. 

Take a look:
Ice Ice, Baby

On Dec. 18, we had ice ice, baby. On her way out to McCloud Nature Park to host the Wreath-Making Workshops, our Park Naturalist  discovered the hard way that the entrance to the park was unsafe because of the sheet of ice that had blanketed central Indiana the night before. Thankfully she was uninjured. 

Given the dangerous conditions on the roads and in our own park, we regretfully had to cancel the Wreath-Making Workshops and reschedule Dec. 19th's Scout Sunday program to Jan. 8 (see below).

We apologize for the last-second cancellations. We did not know that the entrance to McCloud was a skating rink until our Park Naturalist was spinning around on it in her vehicle. While we posted the information as quickly as we could on our Facebook page, we now recognize that we could have communicated better, and we have a better plan in place for any future weather-related issues.

In the future, if we have a problem, yo, we'll solve it...and we'll post first on our Facebook page and then on our website. If possible, we'll email any registered participants, assuming that one of our employees can safely reach our main office to access our database. But Facebook will be the quickest way to learn of any last-second delays or cancellations, quickly followed by our website.

We appreciate everyone's understanding, patience, and constructive suggestions for future communications.
Christmas Bird Count

Calling all citizen scientists and bird enthusiasts! The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the  National Audubon Society , with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.

This year, Ecologist Roger Hedge of the  Indiana Department of Natural Resources  will be hosting the Christmas Bird Count at  McCloud Nature Park  on Jan. 2 at 8 a.m. Birders of all ages and levels of experience are welcome to attend and participate. This citizen science event is FREE to attend.

Please contact Roger Hedge at rhedge@dnr.IN.gov or at (317) 232-8062 to participate, and b e sure to dress for the weather!

Animal Tales: The Owl and the Woodpecker

We're bringing "The Owl and the Woodpecker" by Brian Wildsmith to a public library near you during the week of Jan. 4-6 . We'll read the story and then lead kids in a craft afterwards!

NEW in 2017! We'll be at the Tri-Area Library in Jamestown on  Thursday afternoons at 2 p.m. now! We're super excited to meet new friends in Jamestown!

NEW in 2017! Animal Tales at the Danville Public Library are now on  Friday afternoons at 4 p.m.

This program is FREE to attend and appropriate for all ages.

Rock Your Inner Animal

Join us on  Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. at McCloud Nature Park for our Rock Your Inner Animal program. We'll discuss animals that have been personified as having human characteristics, and you'll paint a keepsake to take home with you! $3/person.
Scout Sunday: Earth Party

This program was originally scheduled for Dec. 18, but Mother Nature had other ideas that day. After a sheet of ice made the entrance to McCloud Nature Park too dangerous to keep open, we postponed this program to  Jan. 8 from 1-4 p.m.

If you were already registered for the Dec. 18 date, we still have you registered. If you  weren't registered, but you'd like to join in the fun on Jan. 8,  click here to register by Jan. 6.
DIY Maple Syrup Workshop

Are there maple trees in your yard? Did you know that they can run? If you'd like to begin making your own maple syrup, this program is for you! Come out to McCloud on  Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.  and discover the ins and outs of the entire maple sugaring process from an experienced maple syrup producer. $5/person. Recommended for adults.

Backyard Beekeeping 101

Backyard and urban beekeeping is becoming more and more popular, and our honeybees couldn't be happier! Join an experienced local beekeeper at McCloud Nature Park on  Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. to learn the basics of honeybee behavior, discover what supplies are required for beekeeping, discuss hive maintenance practices, and more. 

FREE. No advance registration required. Recommended for adults.
Brownsburg Fitness Night

We will be at Brownsburg West Middle School on Friday, Jan. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. for Brownsburg Family Fitness Night!

This is a fun, FREE family-friendly event full of activities for the kids, demonstrations, door prizes, snacks, and lots of information for parents about youth sports, fitness, recreation and nutrition.

Come on out to BWMS on Jan. 27, find our booth, say hi, and take home a special treat!

Winter Tree ID

For some of us, it's easy to know the difference between an oak tree and a tulip tree...just look at the leaves, right? Without leaves to rely on, however, tree identification can become much more difficult. Come hike some trails at Sodalis Nature Park on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. to learn identifying tools and tricks from a Park Naturalist!

FREE. All ages. No registration required.
Who's Hiding Under the Snow?

Sometimes we forget who's hiding underground in our wintry world. How do fish, frogs, and turtles survive beneath pond ice? How many cold-weather burrows are just below our feet? Come out to McCloud Nature Park on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. to learn about the overwintering adaptations of some of Indiana's native animals. Optional hike afterwards, so dress for the weather!

FREE. All ages. No advance registration required.
Scout Sunday: Boy Scout Bird Study Merit Badge Workshop

Did you know that our Park Naturalist is now a certified merit badge counselor? On Jan. 29 from 1-4 p.m. at McCloud Nature Park, she and some expert birders will assist Scouts in  properly using binoculars, choosing and using field guides, and recognizing bird field marks. All attendees receive a special McCloud Nature Challenge Badge. $10/attendee (chaperones are free).

#Questfor5000 Facebook Fans

Behold January's graphic for our #Questfor5000 Facebook fans! Keep an eye on our Facebook page, and when you see this graphic posted, share it on your own personal and/or business Facebook page, encouraging your followers to follow us, too. We'll then randomly select someone who shared the graphic to win a prize!

Congratulations to our November (Tami Wilson) and December (Brent Lacy) winners!
Important Upcoming Dates

Jan. 2  - Main office closed (New Year's Day observed).

Jan. 4, 2 p.m. - Hendricks County Parks Board Meeting at our main office. Public is invited!

Jan. 16  - Main office closed (Martin Luther King Jr. Day observed).

Jan. 20  - Nature Center closed (staff development).

Feb. 1  - Online registration for Spring Break Day Camps (Wilderness Survival) and Summer Nature Day Camps opens.

March 4 & 11  - Maple Syrup Days at McCloud Nature Park.

April 15  - Eggstravaganza at McCloud Nature Park.

April 22  - Earth Day Native Plant & Tree Sale at Sodalis Nature Park.
Hendricks County Parks & Recreation 
955 E. Main Street, Danville, IN 46122 | (317) 718-6188 | Website