Community Groups & Training

Looking for activities for your community group, church, business or school? Your MetroParks have built-in activities that make it easy for groups to connect with nature, from hiking on trails that lead to natural wonders to picnicking and camping. Check out our specialized trainings designed to help you share the benefits of living an active, outdoor lifestyle with your community and future generations.

Top Picks for Groups

Picnic Shelters

Open-air shelters make an excellent setting for such functions as company lunches, school outings and church picnics. Shelters are located in beautiful, natural settings and come with tables. Some include electricity, water, grills and other amenities. Most shelters accommodate 35 people; several are much larger. All are ranger-patrolled, quiet and designed to offer a degree of privacy. By making advanced reservations, your group will be guaranteed use of the site.

Learn more about shelters

Group Camping

Scouts, universities, churches, families and other groups can pitch tents in private camping areas at four MetroParks. Overnight tent camping is available in beautiful natural settings that are accessible and near a variety of park activities. Frontcountry sites are accessible by car; backcountry sites along the Twin Valley Trail are hike-in sites. Use the online reservation system at metroparks.org, or call 937-275-PARK (7275) during normal business hours to get your permit.

View more about campsites

 

Service Projects

Groups or individuals seeking service projects to benefit the environment should consider the following possibilities:

To learn more about other volunteer projects, contact Volunteer Services at volunteerservices@metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

School Tours

No matter what grade or subject you teach, MetroParks is here to support you in getting your students outside to explore their environment. We offer structured field trips in a number of parks and classroom resources to connect students with nature in the classroom.

Learn more about resources for schools

Natural Adventures Boxes

Childcare providers are eligible to use four Natural Adventures Boxes at MetroParks throughout the region. These adventure boxes are designed to help facilitate self-guided park visits for groups of preschool-aged children. Participation in the Natural Adventures Box program provides not only access to the on-site box of tools but also to training to help the children conduct hands-on exploration of natural areas, while promoting outdoor active lifestyles.

Children are meant to be in nature; so instead of paying entrance fees for pools and museums, bring your kids outside for free hands-on exploration in local habitats!

Community Outreach

Five Rivers MetroParks makes every effort to accommodate requests for a speaker to give a brief presentation to local schools, youth groups, clubs or other community organizations. We also provide materials for community outreach events.

Learn more about our outreach and advocacy programs

Indoor Meeting Space

MetroParks offers rentals of spacious, business-friendly indoor facilities for meetings and other group gatherings. The spaces at Cox Arboretum provide public wireless access and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Wegerzyn Gardens provides a large flexible space with stage and sound system.

MetroParks Ice Rink

237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, OH 45402 Directions >

Groups also are invited to join us during open skate hours at the MetroParks Ice Rink. Special discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Groups of more than 30 are asked to call ahead at (937) 278-2607 with the date and hours they want to be at the rink and an approximate headcount. Groups should be aware that during public hours, rink admission and skate rental are on first-come, first-served basis.

The rink is also available for private rentals on Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Special Use Permits

From the smallest birthday party to the largest concert, special events take place every day in MetroParks. If you want to have any activity in a MetroPark, with more than 200 people, or if you would like to reserve a specific area within a park, you need to apply for a special event permit.

Learn more about our special permits

Activities

Your group can easily learn to work together more effectively by learning to play together. Five Rivers MetroParks offers a variety of recreational activities ideal for group outings, including:

Additional Resources

Classroom Teachers
No matter what grade or subject you teach, MetroParks is here to support you in getting your students outside to explore their environment.

Childcare Providers
Children are meant to be in nature; so instead of paying entrance fees at pools and museums, bring your kids outside for free hands-on exploration in local habitats.

Scout & Youth Leaders
Looking to get your youth outside to engage in nature but need a little help? MetroParks has resources, including campsites, that can help you and your scouts.

Other Community Groups

Programs & Events

Create a Green Schoolyard

Get your school growing

Featured Image

Create a natural or garden space at your school so you can get outside all the time without needed to plan a field trip! Green schoolyards enrich your school grounds and use them to improve children’s well-being, learning and play while promoting community engagement and contributing to the ecological health and resilience of our region.

Learn more about how you can get one started at your school.

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Resources

Helpful links to enhance your group experience

Local groups

Citizen Science
Get closer to nature, observe, and contribute to the scientific body with these citizen science activities.

Ohio Nature Guides
Find electronic versions of the Ohio Division of Natural Resources’ Common Field Guides of Ohio and other Education Resources. While you can call (800) WILDLIFE to request your free paperback copies, you can also quickly reference these online guides or save them to your tablet and save paper!

Take Action to Support Conservation

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