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How to participate in park programs across Butler County this summer

Fun Things to Do
Avery Maier, of Butler, helps out in the '80s Ice tent on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, at Butler Area Community Day held at Alameda Park. Butler Eagle file photo
Alameda Park

Soccer Shots — A youth soccer class takes place every Friday throughout the summer from June 7 through Aug. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Active, on-field parental/guardian participation is required for younger age groups. This class typically follows a “mommy/daddy-and-me” form, with a parent or guardian guiding and aiding each child.

Night Disc Golf — The park is hosting night rounds of disc golf beginning at 8:45 p.m. June 28, Aug. 9 and Sept. 20.

Check-in is from 8:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. The cost is $10 per person. Players must bring their own discs.

Butler Area Community Day — Butler County Parks and Recreation and Butler Township are teaming to hold Butler Area Community Day beginning at 5 p.m. on July 2.

This event will involve local food, live music and plenty of children’s activities. Children’s activities are provided at no charge and include bounce houses, balloons, face painting and children shows.

Nature Photography for Kids — Alameda Park is planning an introduction to nature photography class at 10:30 a.m. on July 13.

The lesson will feature a discussion on camera and composition basics, plus hands-on fun activities like a parent-child game. Those who attend must bring a digital camera or cellphone.

NFL Youth Flag Football — Butler County Parks and Recreation presents a one-day flag football tournament at 10 a.m. on July 21. There are tournaments for varying age brackets.

Bug Safari — The park is inviting families to discover bugs of all types on Aug. 10 from 7 to 8 p.m. Participants should bring a wide-mouthed, non-glass bottle.

Registration is required. The cost of participation for children under 12 is $5.

A nature exploration tour group learns about the butterflies of the prairie during a previous Celebrate the Bloom at Jennings Environmental Education Center in Brady Township. Butler Eagle file photo
Jennings Environmental Education Center

Fireflies, Nature’s Fireworks — Jennings will hold a program about fireflies at 8:30 p.m. July 5.

A 45-minute indoor presentation will be followed by a stroll along the prairie trails admiring the flashes of Pennsylvania’s state insect, the firefly. This program is designed for adults and older children.

Self-Guided Prairie Wildflower Walkabout — Explore the stunning and diverse blooms of Pennsylvania’s only managed and protected prairie during a special, limited-time only self-guided Prairie Wildflower Walkabout at Jennings Environmental Education Center.

From July 20 through Aug. 5, during peak prairie bloom, visitors can pick up free guide and follow a designated route to discover the tales these flowers have to tell.

Celebrate the Bloom — Celebrate the Bloom is a free annual event held at Jennings Environmental Education Center on July 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrating the state’s only prairie, the festival includes nature explorations, engaging demonstrations, local artisans and food, and musical guests.

The event is produced in cooperation with 3MJC, the friends group and funding partner of Jennings.

Evening Prairie Bloom Walks — Those who attend three walks between late July and mid-September will be able to witness how prairie blooms change through the season.

Walks will be held on July 23, Aug. 15 and Sept. 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. These guided 90-minute casual walks will focus on the plants currently blooming, but they also will highlight some of the animals, history and geology of the prairie.

Mike Shaffer, a DCNR Environmental Educational Specialist, leads last year’s Salamander Safari at McConnells Mill State Park. Butler Eagle file photo
McConnells Mill State Park

National Trails Day Hike — A 5.25-mile guided hike along the North Country Trail is planned to celebrate National Trails Day on June 1.

The hike commences at 10 a.m. The North Country Trail stretches over 4,800 miles through eight states, making it the longest trail in the US.

Crayfishing — The park naturalist will lead an exploration of Hell Run Creek from 4 to 5:30 p.m. June 14 for some good old-fashioned fun — crayfishing. The event is intended for families.

Creek Critters — Those who attend the Creek Critters event from 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 17 will seek out salamanders, crayfish, aquatic insects and all the other critters that live in Hell Run Creek. The event is intended for families.

Salamander Safari — The park naturalist leads another exploration of Hells Hollow from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 10. The purpose of the event is to view salamanders and all the other critters that live there.

Participants should meet at the Hells Hollow Trail parking lot.

The Preston's Pearl glides on the water in Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park. The enclosed pontoon boat is a main attraction at the park. Butler Eagle file photo
Moraine State Park

Preston’s Pearl — Preston's Pearl, an enclosed pontoon boat and Moraine State Park’s premier attraction, will begin tours Memorial Day and run through Labor Day. Tours begin at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sundays.

Visitors can learn about the area’s natural history and osprey reintroduction, while appreciating the scenery and wildlife on a trip around Lake Arthur.

Tickets are required and can be purchased online or at the Owlet Gift Shop.

Eco Tour — Explore a labyrinth of coves, exposed cliffs and secret passageways on a paddleboard eco tour at Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park from 4 to 6 p.m. on June 10.

Instruction will be provided for new paddlers. The tour following is a relaxed guided paddle.

Muddy Creek Oil Field Living History Demonstration — The Muddy Creek Oil Well is an award-winning restoration site of an antique oil well, which is open for the public to visit. A monthly event will highlight the history of the well. The Bessemer Gas Engine and Marshall-Barr No. 19 oil well equipment will operate from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. only on second Saturdays of the month at Park Road in Moraine State Park, starting on June 8.

The central powerhouse site is located beyond the State Parks Region 2 office, 195 Park Road, Prospect (Old 422, off Route 528). It can be found by following signs.

Open dates are dependent on volunteer availability and weather conditions.

Venomous Snakes of PA — An opportunity to learn about venomous snakes in Pennsylvania is set from 1 to 2:30 p.m. June 29 at Pavilion #7 of McDanel’s Launch Area on the North Shore. Live snakes will be at the event.

Salamander Safari — A Salamander Safari is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. June 30. The event begins at the Davis Hollow Marina Office on the North Shore.

Explorers will search Davis Hollow Creek for salamanders and all the other critters that live there.

Bats in Action — The park naturalist will lead a program about bats at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church from 8 to 10 p.m. July 26.

Those who attend will see a bat condo in action.

Regatta — The South Shore of Lake Arthur will host the annual regatta Aug. 5 to 6, featuring free music, fireworks, kayaking and sailing demonstrations.

The regatta will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 5 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 6.

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