Make a nature craft
A new craft will be introduced each week in July in the Summit Metro Parks, and participants should dress for a mess. Drop in between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 14 for crafting fun at the LIberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg. For more information, call 330-865-8065 or visit summitmetroparks.org.
Fourth of July hours for center, park offices
The administrative offices for Summit Metro Parks at 975 Treaty Line Road in Akron will be closed July 4 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. Regular office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The visitors center at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 4. The nature center at Liberty Park, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg, will be closed. Regular hours for the Nature Realm building (330-865-8065) are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Regular hours for the Liberty Park center (330-487-0493) are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is always free. For more information, visit summitmetroparks.org or call 330-865-8065.
Lottery for bow hunting is July 21
Summit Metro Parks will allow hunting by bow and arrow or crossbow in more than 20 selected areas by permit this fall as part of its ongoing deer management program. Each permit, determined by lottery July 21, is good for up to three adults and two juveniles. Only Summit County residents may enter the lottery, but individuals whose names are chosen may add non-Summit residents to their permits.
Lottery applications are available online at www.summitmetroparks.org/deer-management.aspx. Applications must be postmarked by July 15 and all applicants must provide a valid email address.
Applications are to be mailed to: Archery Program, P.O. Box 5250, Akron, OH 44334. Lottery winners will be notified by email no later than Aug. 1, and individuals named on permits will have to pass a supervised test at the park district's public archery ranges on dates to be determined.
Several box blinds will be installed in locations for hunters requiring wheelchairs. Wheelchair-bound hunters may live outside of Summit County. For details about the wheelchair-bound lottery, contact project managers Eric Fitch and Don Heffner at firstname.lastname@example.org. Up to three hunting permits will be assigned per location.
All areas are remote and have limited public access. Hunters must follow park rules and regulations and the hunting guidelines established by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Hunting season is Sept. 30 through Feb. 4. Through nine previous seasons of the archery program, participants have taken a total of 863 deer.
Regionally and throughout the state, changes in habitat and the elimination of natural predators have allowed deer herds to grow to unnatural densities, threatening biodiversity.
Dive into week of bugs and monsters
This month, Summit Metro Parks naturalists will lead children into the world of the bugs and "water monsters" that can be found in the Metro Parks and other nearby locations. Kids can enjoy bug programs in June, including:
- Water Bugs for Kids, June 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg. Join a naturalist to explore the world of water bugs. Nets and jars will be provided. Meet at the shelter. Sunscreen and hats are a must; and
- Water Monsters, June 29 at 1 p.m. at the Everett Road Covered Bridge, 2370 Everett Road in Peninsula. Families will enjoy learning about the unique and irreplaceable "monsters" that live in our waters. Wear shoes that can get wet for a closer peek. For more information, call 330-865-8065.
Running Spree jogs into third year
The third annual Metro Parks Running Spree will include a number of natural-surface and paved trails for beginning, intermediate and advanced runners that can be completed for credit. But don't worry: You don't have to be speedy to earn spree rewards.
"The Running Spree is not a race," said Summit Metro Parks spokesperson Nathan Eppink. "It's meant to encourage our visitors to be outside and get exercise. You can run, jog or walk-run on the trails. Your time, your form -- none of that matters."
Each participant who finishes at least six runs on any combination of select trails by Aug. 31 will earn a wooden race medal on a commemorative ribbon. Medals are similar to those offered by the Akron Marathon Race Series, and the spree is a great way to train for the June, August and September events. Forms will be available starting Memorial Day weekend at runningspree.summitmetroparks.org, at several Metro Parks locations and all Acme Fresh Market stores in Summit County. Rewards for the spree are free to Summit County residents. Out-of-county residents pay $10 for their rewards. For details, call 330-865-8065.