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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 
 
Please note new day of the week – our Nature Tots and Forest Friends
monthly series will now be scheduled on Mondays, not Fridays.
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13
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
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 
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
 
Please note new day of the week  our Nature Tots and Forest Friends
monthly series will now be scheduled on Mondays, not Fridays.
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13
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
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
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

 
 

 
 
 
   
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.
 
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
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

 
  
 
 
NC Calling Amphibian Survey Program (CASP) Workshop
Tuesday, April 14
Time: 6–9 p.m.
Ages: 16 and up
Cost: FREE!
Learn your frog calls! Join Jeff Hall and C.C. King from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for this educational workshop focusing on the identification and ecology of frogs and toads, and FrogWatch and CASP protocols. The first part of the workshop will be held inside, but we will conclude with outdoor field study. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a simple bagged dinner or eat before you arrive. Prepare to discover more about our amphibian voices of the night! Meet at the park office.
 
Visit the CASP website or check out the flier to learn more.
 
Fly Fishing Basics
Saturday, April 18
Time: 10 a.m. – noon
Ages: 16 and up
Cost: $10 per person
Learn the basic skills needed to begin a lifetime of fly fishing. We will go over casting methods, rigging techniques, fly and bait selection and where to fly fish in the area. Gear will be provided. Course will run 2 hours: one hour of instruction and one hour of fishing. NC inland fishing license is required. Bring a water bottle and sunscreen. Class size is limited to three so register soon! Meet at the Loblolly Shelter. 
 
Yoga at the Lake
Sunday, May 31
Time: 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Ages: 16 and up
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.
    
 

Science Alliance NC Science Festival Logo

April 14–16, 2015, from 4–6 p.m.
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.  
 
Call 919-387-4342 to register!
 
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.
 
Check out our Science Alliance flier! 

Tuesday, April 14:

  • NC Wildlife Resources Commission: "If You Build it, They Will Come: Creating and Restoring Wetlands for Amphibians"
  • Wake Soil and Water Conservation District: "We All Live in a Watershed, and We All Contribute to Water Pollution and Solutions!"
  • NC Forest Service: "The Science of Prescribed Fire"

Wednesday, April 15:

Hosted by NC State University Parks, Recreation and Tourism 358 students

  • NCSU Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: "What is in a teaspoon of seawater?"
  • NCSU Department of Biology: "My Search for the World's Rarest Butterfly"

Thursday, April 16:

  • NC Forest Service: "The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly" and "Forest Health: A Field of Many Sciences"
  • NC Master Gardeners: "The Science of Gardening"
  • Red Hen Enterprises: "Vermicomposting"
  • The Roanoke Center: "Career Pathways in Forestry and Natural Resources"
 

  



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 (listed below) will have educational hands-on exhibits. Enjoy FREE 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 provided by the Kudzu Ramblers and A Touch of Dixie, aka Bloomsbury Boys!
 
Food vendors will also be on site. There will be something for everyone to enjoy!
Our vendors include the following:
 
NC Forest Service
Duke Energy Progress
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
NC Museum of History
NC State Parks
NC Prescribed Fire Council
NC Longleaf Coalition
US Fish and Wildlife Service
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Apex Fire Department
NC Geocachers Organization
Stitch n'Pine Baskets
Bass Lake Park - Holly Springs
Dragonfly Nature Programs
NC Invasive Plant Council
Central NC Artifacts Collectors
Wake Audubon Society
 
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.
 
 

 

 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: 197.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 3/31/2015 12:55 PM by Erin Latimer
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