July 27 2020

MetroParks new take-home program kits now available

MetroParks wants to keep you and your family safely engaged with fun, educational programs that help you connect with nature. Developed by MetroParks’ education and recreation staff, new take-home program kits allow families to experience nature on their own time while learning new things and developing new skills.

Kits include self-guided activities with nature, outdoor recreation, gardening and historical farming themes. A variety of kits will be offered monthly to provide new and seasonal options.

For your safety, kits are assembled using the CDC’s best practices, such as being packaged and left to sit at least four days before you pick them up. Contactless pickup will be offered once a month, with the first date starting this Friday, July 31, at Wegerzyn Garden MetroPark from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Cox Arboretum MetroPark from 4 to 7 p.m. The next opportunity for pick ups will be August 28.

Due to limited quantities, pre-registration is required. Reserve your kit by following the links below:

  • Pick up A: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark on Friday, July 31, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Pick Up B: Cox Arboretum MetroPark on Friday, July 31, between 4 and 7 p.m.

This month’s kits include:

  • Passport to Fishing Kit ($25; all ages) – there is a waitlist for this kit*

This kit, designed for youth and their family to learn to fish, includes two fishing rods, a tackle box and basic tools to get you started. Supplemental videos guide you through basic casting, knots, rigging, safe fish handling and local resources as a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Thanks to a Passport to Fishing grant from Ohio Division of Wildlife, Zebco 202 rods are provided in this kit at no additional cost.

Reserve this kit (pick up A)

Reserve this kit (pick up B)

  • Farmer in a Bag ($5; ages 0 to 18)

Carriage Hill MetroPark is offering a “Farmer in a Bag” kit. This educational kit contains information on historical crops as well as seeds to plant. Also, it contains information on farm animals and an easy-to-make 1880s toy.

Reserve this kit (pick up A)

Reserve this kit (pick up B)

  • Meet a Pillbug ($5; all ages)

Pillbugs or “roly-polies” are fascinating creatures you can find in your yard, garden or even under rocks. This kit provides everything you need to meet these gentle and hard-working isopods while exploring outside. Supplies are included to make a temporary habitat, along with an activity guide to add to the fun.

Reserve this kit (pick up A)

Reserve this kit (pick up B)

  • Sew a 9-Patch Quilt ($5; all ages)

In the 19th century, one of the first sewing projects a youngster might have learned was how to sew is a 9-Patch quilt block. This kit includes all the materials needed to sew a simple quilt block: nine pre-cut fabric squares, one needle, a bobbin of thread and instructions.

Reserve this kit (pick up A)

Reserve this kit (pick up B)

  • Worm Observation Activity ($5; all ages)

As our gardens grow, pollinators give us a helping hand above the ground, but what about below the ground? Yes, plants need help with root support — and that is up to worms! They make tunnels that allow water and oxygen to reach their roots. In this kit, you will receive everything you need to do worm research, except worms — search under rocks and in your yard for worm friends for some additional fun!

Reserve this kit (pick up A)

Reserve this kit (pick up B)

Conservation Kids Discover Kit (free; ages 3 to 13)

Note: There is currently a waitlist for this kit.

Get your family outside and exploring the wonders of nature! The Conservation Kids Discover Kit includes access to videos by MetroParks naturalists, online resources and a variety of tools to aid you in making the most of your nature explorations. These resources can be used to take part in up to four different Conservation Kids Discover Level activities: Creek Exploration, Six-Legged Beasts, Journey to the Past: Fossil Exploration, and Nighttime Adventures. If your child is working toward becoming a Conservation Kids graduate or would like to begin the journey of becoming a Conservation Kids graduate, they can receive credit for taking part in these activities or you can simply take part in the activities for fun! Thanks to funding from the Virginia Kettering Grant, these kits are being offered free of charge. We ask that each family only take one kit, so that we can offer this opportunity to as many families as possible.

Coming next month: Families will be able to check out kits that allow them to go on an outdoor adventure, such as backyard camping.

For additional information, to reserve a kit and for updates about future kits, visit metroparks.org/kits.

Five Rivers MetroParks visitors should always follow the CDC’s recommendations, particularly for social distancing and wearing face coverings, while spending time outdoors. For the most current information on MetroParks’ COVID-19 response and related closures, visit metroparks.org/covid-19 and follow Five Rivers MetroParks on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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