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programs

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Public Programs

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Christina D. Sorensen

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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 Harris Lake County Park staff offers a variety of public educational programs for all ages year-round. Visit our calendar of events and sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up to date!

Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:

 
Our staff also offers public programs at the American Tobacco Trail! 
Check out the ATT programs page for details.
 

 

Nature Totsphoto of kids coloring

 
 Discover the natural world through stories, hands-on nature activities, games, crafts and more.
 
  
 
Ages: 1–3 years with an adult
Time: 10:30–11 a.m.
Fee: $2 per child or 3 programs for $5
Meet at the Cypress Shelter
 
A Tree is Nice
Friday, March 13
After reading A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry we will take a closer look at trees, touching and sorting gathered tree parts. Each child will color their own tree to take home. 
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13 (Please note new day of the week)
This hands-on program will introduce children to the thrill of a wiggly worm. Learn about these amazing creatures and how they help build the soil and make it rich for plants. Touching is encouraged! Enjoy a gummy worm snack.
 
This program is a part of the NC Science Festival. To learn more, visit ncsciencefestival.org.
 
Dandelions, Stars in the Grass
Monday, May 11 (Please note new day of the week)
Do you think of the Dandelion as a pesky weed or a bright yellow beacon of spring? In Mia Posada’s beautiful book, Dandelions, Stars in the Grass, we will learn about the life of the dandelion and then search for them in the park to blow their seeds into the air.
 
Fish is Fish
Monday, June 8 (Please note new day of the week)
After reading this charming book, Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, we will take a look at a tadpole and a minnow and color a fish.
 

 

photo of kids in leaf hats

 
Get up close with nature! Discover amazing things in the park as we explore nature "hands on" through games, crafts, hikes and more.
 
  
 
Ages: 3–5 years with an adult
Time: 1–2 p.m.
Fee: $4 per child or 3 programs for $10
Meet at the Cypress Shelter
 
A Tree is Nice
Friday, March 13
After reading A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry, we will take a closer look at trees and tree parts. Each child will make a wishing tree and learn about the many things made from trees.
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13 (Please note new day of the week)
Children will experience the thrill of a wiggly worm from our vermicompost bins as we dig in search of worms. Learn how they help build the soil and make it rich for plants. Enjoy a gummy worm snack.
 
This program is a part of the NC Science Festival. To learn more, visit ncsciencefestival.org.
 
Dandelions, Stars in the Grass
Monday, May 11 (Please note new day of the week)
Do you think of the Dandelion as a pesky weed or a bright yellow beacon of spring? In Mia Posada’s beautiful book, Dandelions, Stars in the Grass, we will learn about the life of the dandelion and then search for them in the park to blow their seeds into the air. We will create a dandelion painting to take home.
 
Fish is Fish
Monday, June 8 (Please note new day of the week)
After reading this charming book, Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, we will take a look at a tadpole and a minnow to see how they are different.  We will color a fish then walk to the pier to feed the fish in the lake.
 

 
photo of wagon ride and tractor

 
 

 
 
 
  
Salamander Search
Saturday, March 21
Time: 1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Are you aware of the important role salamanders play in our communities?  They may be living in your neighborhood! Join us as we learn about these elusive amphibians, then head out to search the many temporary wetlands of the park for eggs, larvae and adults. Space is limited to minimize impact on the habitat.  Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
 
Sunset Campfire
Friday, April 10
Time: 7–8:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Spend an evening at Harris lake County Park by the light of the setting sun as we build a rustic campfire! Join us to learn fire building techniques, sing songs, roast marshmallows and more. Marshmallows and roasting sticks will be provided. Bring your own camp chairs and a water bottle.  Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
 
Science AllianceNC Science Festival Logo
Tuesday–Thursday, April 14–16
Times: 4–6 p.m. each day
For all ages
Cost: FREE!                     
Be part of the NC Science Festival and celebrate science at our all new three-day "Science Alliance" event at Harris Lake County Park! Each afternoon we will have different natural resource professionals as our guest scientists to engage you in fun hands-on activities and presentations. These experts in their fields will speak to you about topics ranging from forestry and wildlife to entomology, gardening and careers in science. Come out for two or more days to win some cool prizes! You will be given a pass to keep track of how many days you attend. Topics and presenters will be updated as we confirm our guests.
 
This program is a part of the NC Science Festival. To learn more, visit ncsciencefestival.org.
 
Senses of Spring
Saturday, April 18
Time: 1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family
Spring is here! Celebrate all the senses of springtime as we explore what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste this time of year. We will look for new plant growth, listen for birds, smell flowers in bloom and more. Enjoy a leisurely hike through the spring woods. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
 
This program is a part of the NC Science Festival. To learn more, visit ncsciencefestival.org.
 
Herb Gardening
Friday, May 15
Time: 10–11:30 a.m.
Ages: 6 and up
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
How does a container garden grow? Join us in our Educational Gardens to discover how to successfully grow plants in a container.  Learn how gardening in pots is different from gardening in the ground.  Decorate a clay pot and use it to plant your own herb garden with seedlings grown by park staff. Meet in the Educational Gardens near the Restroom Pavilion.
 
Wagon Ride and Longleaf Bird Walk
Saturday, May 16
Time: 10 a.m.noon
Best for ages 8 and up
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Join us on a wagon ride to our 60-acre longleaf forest where we will disembark to go bird watching in this unique habitat. We’ll see and hear a variety of spring birds as we hike through the forest and along a portion of the Peninsula Trail and lakeshore.  Bring your own binoculars and field guide or borrow ours. Meet at the wagon at the playground.
 
Crawling Caterpillars
Sunday, May 17
12:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Fascinating, beautiful and sometimes bizarre, caterpillars have captivated most of us from a young age.  We’ll explore the interesting life cycles of butterflies and moths, meet some cool larvae up close and hike to the Educational Garden to observe them in their natural habitat. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
 
Family Disc Golf
Saturday, June 13
9 a.m.–noon
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
This special event is for players of all levels. Disc golf professionals will be here to provide instruction for beginners or advanced skills for the more experienced. Bring the family, learn the basics, practice your throw and then take off on the course for a new adventure. Register for an "Introduction to Disc Golf" lesson time at 9 or 10:30 a.m. (choose one), or register for an advanced skills session at 10:30 a.m. Bring your own discs or borrow ours. Meet at the disc golf gravel parking lot (first gravel lot on your right after entering the park).
 
Evening Hike
Saturday, June 27
Time: 7–8:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Summer evenings are some of the best times to see and hear wildlife in the park. Enjoy a warm summer evening as we hike along a portion of the Peninsula Trail looking and listening for signs of evening wildlife. We will learn about crepuscular animals such as fox, deer and fireflies and talk about how they are different from nocturnal animals. Meet at the Peninsula Trailhead.
 

Kids learning about pond

Programs for Kids

 

 
   
Beginning Fishing Clinic
Sunday, March 22, from 5–7 p.m.
Saturday, April 4, from 911 a.m.
Ages: 7–15
Cost: $4 per child
In this introduction to the basic fundamentals of fishing, children will gain the skills needed for a lifetime of fishing enjoyment. We will teach angler safety and courtesy, how to rig a line and tie knots, local fish ID, and pond food chain dynamics. This one-hour clinic will be followed by one hour of fishing. Program is limited to 6 children. Parents may drop off or remain with their children during the program. Meet at the park fishing pond (first gravel lot on right after entering the park).
  
 

 

Adult Programs and Workshops

 
 
Lookin' at Lichen
Hosted by the Wake Audubon Society
Saturday, March 21 (Rain Date: Saturday, March 28)
Time: 9–11 a.m.
Ages: 14 and up
Cost: FREE!
On a walk in the woods lichen are all around us, but there is much more than meets the eye with these fascinating organisms. Join local lichen experts on a hike through Harris Lake County Park to observe lichen, including some rare and unusual species that have been found here. Wear good walking shoes and bring your own hand lens or magnifying glass (we will have some available to borrow, as well). Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
 
Spring Photography Hike
Sunday, March 29
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
Ages: 14 and up
Cost: $3 per person
Bring your camera and join us for outdoor nature photography in the park! We will focus on capturing the change in seasons by photographing newly emerging spring growth and hopefully some local wildlife. Park staff will accompany you and serve as an interpretive guide to the flora and fauna you see and photograph. All photography skill levels are welcome. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
 
Yoga at the Lake
Sunday, May 31
Time: 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Ages: 16 and up
Cost: $3 per individual
Bring your practice outdoors in this slow-paced, meditative Yoga class. Find your center and embrace the peace and tranquility of nature along the shores of Harris Lake. Beginners are welcome. Please bring your own yoga mat and meet at the picnic area near the Peninsula Trailhead.
 

  



Longleaf Festival

FREE family event!
Saturday, May 2, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
 
 
 
Celebrate the history and importance of the longleaf pine
at our 6th annual Longleaf Festival! 
 
Take a wagon ride to our 60-acre Longleaf Pine Management Area. Many agencies and organizations will have educational hands-on exhibits. Enjoy fun festival activities, games, crafts, live animals and more. Check out the bulldozer, fire engine and prescribed burn equipment to learn about the importance of fire in the life of the longleaf pine.
 
Live entertainment and food vendors will be on site.
There will be something for everyone to enjoy!
 
Our website will be updated as new exhibitors and activities are added,
so keep checking back to see who is coming.
 
If you are interested in having an educational exhibit at this event or would like to volunteer, please contact Jackie Trickel at jackie.trickel@wakegov.com.
 
This FREE event does not require preregistration. If you have questions, please call the park office at 919-387-4342.
 
 

Sunday, March 22
Time: noon–3 p.m.
Ages: 6 and up
   
 
 
  
Help keep Harris Lake clean! Volunteers are needed to help collect trash along New Hill Holleman Road to prevent litter from reaching Harris Lake (minimum age 10) or inside the park along the shore (minimum age 6). After an introduction and assignments, we will begin our Big Sweep! All volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, dress for the weather and bring a water bottle and your own gloves (if you prefer). We will provide park gloves and trash bags. Volunteers collecting along the road will be given an orange vest to wear.
 
Please register in advance by calling the park office at 919-387-4342.
Meet in front of the Park Office. 
 
photo of trash collected
PLEASE NOTE:
All participants must sign the Wake County Volunteer Release. 
Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. If you are coming with a group, the release must be signed by parents
prior to the event.
 
For questions, contact Erin Latimer
at 919-387-4341.
 
   
 

 

 How to Register

 For more information and to check program availability, contact the park at 919-387-4342 or email us at harris.lake@wakegov.com.

To register, complete and sign the PROS Program Registration Form and return it with payment by mail or bring it by the park office.

 

Please Note: Payment and a completed, signed registration form must be received to confirm your spot in our programs. Registration must be received at least two days prior to the program date. If the minimum number of registered participants is not met, the program will be canceled. All payments must be made using cash, check or money order (made out to "Wake County Parks") – park staff do not currently have the ability to take credit cards.

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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 188.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 2/27/2015 5:13 PM by Erin Latimer
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