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Public Programs

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Daniel F. Wheeler

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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floodplain.jpgWhether 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.

To register in person, by mail or fax, please download a copy of our Registration Form or call 919-460-3355 for more information.

​To register online, click on the registration buttons to the right of each program.

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Family Programs
(Everyone welcome)
Preregistration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted.  All participants must be registered.

Birding with Vernon
1st Saturday of each month (unless otherwise stated), 8:30–10 a.m.
September 3, October 1 
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
September 7 & 21, 6:30–8 p.m.

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.
Turtle Talk
Saturday, August 27, 2–4 p.m.
In 1979, the NC Legislature designated the Eastern Box Turtle as our state reptile. Learn how you can help conserve this valuable state symbol. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted turtle, Shel Silverstein, and join park staff on a box turtle survey. Enjoy an opportunity to search for wild turtles in their natural habitat.
Spider Sniffing
Saturday, September 24, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Do you have a nose for nature? Bring it, a flashlight, and your night vision for a walk around the Old Beech Nature Trail. Meet with park staff at dusk to learn what those bumps in the night really are and discover the secret art of "spider sniffing". This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week. 
Mysterious Mushrooms
Monday, September 26, 10 a.m.–noon
Discover the amazing world of mushrooms and learn about these organisms that are neither plant nor animal. Learn how to identify some of the more common types of fungi in our area and discover the important role they play in our ecosystem. We will even go on a mushroom hunt! This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week.
Nature at Night
Wednesday, September 28, 7–8:30 p.m.
Experience the sights and sounds of sunset and beyond. Learn more about the park's nocturnal animals and test your night vision. Come prepared with a flashlight and a sense of adventure! This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week.
Full Moon Paddle
September 16, 8–10 p.m.
Prices vary by boat type
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight, and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Enjoy a unique opportunity to be in the park after hours! Preregistration is required for all boat types. Choose the boat type you would like below to register online. There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats.

Rain Barrel Workshops
August 24
Two opportunities to build your own rain barrel! Participants in this workshop will take home a fully functional 55-gallon rain barrel with installation kit. These are the same rain barrels that retail for $99 and up! Preregistration is required. Workshops are limited to eight barrels, so reserve your spot now. Cost is $45 per barrel and participation is limited to two people per barrel. 
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. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5.

Skink on the Brink
Wednesday, August 3, 1–2 p.m.

Stewie is a young skink who loves his blue tail. After a close call with a weasel, his tail snaps off, and Stewie no longer feels special. Will he find a way to be happy with the changes he is about to go through? Learn all about the "blue-tailed" skinks of Lake Crabtree, along with the other lizards that call the park home. We will make skinks to take home, and explore lizard habitats around the park.


Are You a Grasshopper?
Wednesday, September 7, 1–2 p.m.
Explore the world of grasshoppers! Follow the life cycle of these fascinating insects from egg to adult. Hear the variety of sounds that "hoppers" and other singing insects make. We will explore the park's meadow in search of grasshoppers and other insects, and make a "hopper" to take home.



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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. Cost is $8 per child. Preregistration is required.


CSI: Crabtree Spider Identification
Tuesday, September 13, 1–3 p.m.
The itsy-bitsy spider went up the waterspout...but who was he, really? What were his motivations? Join us for an investigation of Lake Crabtree's eight-legged inhabitants. Take your new skills home and become a spider detective.


Wednesday, October 12, 9–11 a.m.
Leave your GPS at home and learn how to find your way using only a compass and a map. We'll cover the basics of orienteering. There will be a focus on map reading for younger kids, while older participants will have a chance to test their new skills on our orienteering course.
Stupendous Soils
Tuesday, November 15, 1–3 p.m.
What makes soil more than just dirt? Be prepared to get your hands dirty as you examine this amazing substance that is vital to our survival! Analyze soil samples and sow your own seeds that you can take home and watch grow!



Big Sweep
Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m.–noon
Save the date! 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 919-460-3355 for more information.
Creepy Crabtree
Saturday, October 22
Save the date! Lake Crabtree's Halloween festival returns this October. This free,   park-wide event will investigate the darker side of nature. Check back for more details, but we're sure to have lots of spooky surprises in store! Join us in celebrating creatures of the night and come in costume if you like. Come anytime for some family fun; no sign-up necessary.
                                                                              LCCP Adventure Backpack Bin image for website.jpg
Visit Lake Crabtree's Adventure Backpack Bin on the garden side of the manager's office for some educational fun! You can participate in a citizen science project, go on a scavenger hunt, or do some birdwatching! All of the information and tools you need are provided. Just show up anytime during park hours, sign out a backpack at the bin, and begin your adventure! Junior Naturalists can earn one Lake Crabtree credit by participating in one of the activities and answering the corresponding question sheet. Please be sure to take our short survey when you have completed your activity.


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Approval Status Approved
Content Type: Article Page
Version: 212.0
Created at 7/18/2012 3:16 PM by Daniel F. Wheeler
Last modified at 8/23/2016 5:45 PM by Carol A. Cunningham





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