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Daniel F. Wheeler

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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​On-site and Outreach Group Programs


Lake Crabtree offers a wide variety of environmental education programs for public and private schools, scouts, birthday parties and other organized groups. Programs are available at the park or off-site (outreach). All programs are specific to the piedmont region of North Carolina. Please allow at least two weeks advance notice to schedule a program for your group.

Call 919-460-2723 or email for more information or to request a program date. You can also begin the reservation process by filling out a Group Program Request Form and choosing a topic from our Group Program List. If you have questions about a program topic that is not listed, please ask our staff – we will do our best to accommodate your group.

Most programs given on-site are $25/hour per staff member (fishing and canoe programs are $40/hour per staff member). Outreach programs are $40/hour per staff member for the first hour, and $25/hour per staff member for every following hour (provided it's for the same topic for each hour). Group size per staff member will be limited to 15–30 depending on the program requested and age of the participants. Programs for pre-K groups are available to groups of 15 or fewer.

For the public:floodplain.jpg
Whether you are a child or an adult, Lake Crabtree has a program for you! All scheduled programs have space limitations and, therefore, require registration prior to the program. Please download a copy of our Registration Form or call 919-460-3355 to receive one by mail or fax, or for more information.

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Family Programs
(Everyone welcome)
Preregistration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted.

Birding with Vernon
1st Saturday of each month (unless otherwise stated), 8:30–10 a.m.
February 7, March 7

FREE; No preregistration required
Meet at the Waterwise Garden (first parking lot on right)
Join our bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.

Crabtree Casters
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning on April 1
Whether you already enjoy fishing or would like to learn how to fish, this program is for you! Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All participants 16 years and older must have a valid NC fishing license to participate. Fishing is catch and release only. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If the accompanying adult does not have a license, kids can be covered by the instructor's fishing license.

Toadally Awesome Amphibians
Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.–noon
$3/person or $5/family
After the first week of spring, but before the April showers start, we're hoping to catch some sleepy salamanders. This program will investigate the park's amphibian habitats, show you how to create your own, and teach about the important ecological roles amphibians and the vernal pools they inhabit play.

Early Bloomers
Sunday, March 29, 1–3 p.m.
$3/person or $5/family
Join park staff for a hike in search of early spring wildflowers. Discover the folklore of some of our species, and learn how to identify them. Bring field guides and cameras, if desired.

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Adult Programs
(Adults only)

More to be announced soon...

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Storytime for Tots
Discover nature, beginning with a story, followed by outdoor, hands-on nature exploration. Each program will end with a fun activity or craft to take home. Come prepared to actively participate with your child. First Wednesday of each month. Programs run from 1–2 p.m. at the Beech Shelter. Cost is $4 per child, or sign up for three programs for $10. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5.

The Magic Soil Bag
Wednesday, March 4
Come get your hands dirty! We’ll learn about the earth under our feet, everything that lives in it, and the many different kinds of dirt there are. Discover how soil is made with the magic soil bag activity.

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Homeschool and Track-Out Programs
These programs are open to students 6–12 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required.

Junior Birder Patch
Monday, February 16, 10 a.m.–noon
As part of the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count, Lake Crabtree will be offering its Junior Birder Patch program. See the Bird Count listing below for further details. Please note that this program is $10 per child, to support increased materials costs.

St. Plantrick's Day
Tuesday, March 17, 1–3 p.m.

This St. Patrick's Day, celebrate with something green...plants! Chloro-filled with hands-on activities, this program will teach how plants adapt to different environments and why they're the most important lifeforms on Earth.

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Special Events
18th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
Friday, February 13–Monday, February 16
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that encourages bird watchers of all ages and skill levels to count birds and report their results online to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The data collected provide useful information to scientists, which enables them to better evaluate fluctuations in bird populations. Visit for more information. Lake Crabtree will be hosting events all four days of the Count.
  • Bird Walks
    February 13, 14, 15, 16, 8:30–10 a.m.
    Meet at the Waterwise Garden.
    Lake Crabtree will be hosting Bird Walks all four days of the count, and we need your help to collect data. These walks are great for experts and beginners alike! Share your birdwatching knowledge with others, learn how to identify common birds in our area, and meet other bird enthusiasts. All walks will be led by park staff and volunteers who are eager to share their love of birds. Bring your own binoculars and field guides or borrow them from the park. These walks do not require preregistration.

  • Love Birds?
    Saturday, February 14, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Meet at the Manager's Office.
    This Valentine's Day, Lake Crabtree wants to answer the above question with a definite 'yes!' Join park staff and volunteers for a variety of activities, crafts and information booths about the dangers birds face and what we can do to protect them and continue to appreciate them.

    You can tour our wildlife garden for ideas on attracting birds to your yard or workplace, go on one of our bird walks to help count birds in the park, and much more! This event does not require preregistration.
  • Lifestyles of the Winged and Feathered
    Sunday, February 15, 1–3 p.m.
    Robin Redbreast Leach here to tell you to show up for a tour of the homes of Lake Crabtree's most well-known birds. Whether it's opportunistic wrens or fussy nuthatches, we'll offer insight into the nesting and living habits of the park's avian residents. This program requires preregistration.

  • Homeschool/Track-out: Junior Birder Patch Program
    Monday, February 16, 10 a.m.–noon
    Learn all about birds and birdwatching through a variety of hands-on activities. Participants will earn the Junior Birder Patch by completing this program. We'll learn how to use binoculars, practice our bird identification skills, and much more! This program requires preregistration. Ages 6–12
Big Sweep
Saturday, April 4, 9 a.m.–noon
Join volunteers around the globe and help clean the world's waterways. Teams will pick up trash along the shore of Lake Crabtree and its connecting creeks. Gloves, bags and other supplies are provided by the park. We'll raffle off prizes and learn why it's important to educate others about litter. Individuals and groups are welcome. Make a difference in your community! Preregistration is required. Call 919-460-2723 to sign up.



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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 158.0
Created at 7/18/2012 3:16 PM by Daniel F. Wheeler
Last modified at 1/23/2015 3:59 PM by Stephen R. Walston