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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, use 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.
May 5, June 2
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, from April-September, 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, minors will be covered by the licensed instructor. Preregistration is required for all participants, even those not planning on fishing.


Nature Nerds

Expand your knowledge of our local flora and fauna by exploring a different area of the park each month. Join park staff as they "nerd out" over amphibians, birds, insects, spiders, and anything else they see or hear along the way. Help collect data for the Natural Resource Inventory Database while increasing your own identification skills. Ages 12 and up.
Sunset Canoe Trip 
Friday, May 18, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Join staff for a sunset paddle around the lake. We will explore "bird island," Crabtree Creek and other areas in search of herons, beaver, turtles and more. This program is for ages 8 and up. Each registration is for one canoe, and all participants must be listed. Each canoe is limited to two or three people (if three, one of the three must be a child). An adult is required in each canoe.
Going Batty 
Friday, May 25, 8–10 p.m.
Look, up in the sky! It's a bird...It's a bug...NO, it's a bat! Bats are the world's only flying mammals, and having wings is only one of the adaptations that make them unique. Discover just how special bats are during this evening program.

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. Preregistration is required.
Ages 2–6.
Wednesday, May 2, 1–2 p.m.
Before they become butterflies or moths, caterpillars have to grow up fast and avoid lots of hungry predators. Learn about the daily life of a caterpillar, and explore real cocoons and chrysalises. After the story, we'll make a craft and search for caterpillars, butterflies and moths around the park.
Animals at Night
Wednesday, June 6, 1–2 p.m.
Explore the world of nocturnal animals, and learn how they have adapted to be active at night. We will play "Bats and Moths," listen to animal sounds made at night and make a firefly craft to take home.
These programs are open to students 6–13 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. 
Footprints & Feces
Tuesday, April 24, 1–3 p.m.
Tracking is tricky! Finding animals is hard, but it's easier when you know what to look for. Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks, scat, and other signs that they leave behind. Learn more about the mammals in our area by studying their skulls and scat.
Bees and Blooms
Tuesday, May 22, 1–3 p.m.
Join us as we take a closer look at bees and their relationship with flowers. We'll discuss bee conservation, the wide range of bee species, and the differences between them. Come learn how to make your yard or garden friendly to these important pollinators, and how to build houses for native bees.
Radical Reptiles
Tuesday, June 26, 1–3 p.m.
Come learn about what makes reptiles unique and which reptiles call Lake Crabtree home. Meet Willy, our adopted black rat snake, and Shel Silverstein, our adopted eastern box turtle. Join park staff on a box turtle survey, as we go in search of wild turtles and other reptiles in their natural habitat.
Beginner Birding Class
Saturday, April 14, 9–11 a.m.
What is the difference between birdwatching and birding? Birding with Vernon walk leader, Vernon Janke, will talk about the art of birding and the tools and techniques you need to improve your birding skills. Discover why birding is one of the most popular outdoor activities and use your new knowledge on a bird walk around the park.
Beginner Birding Classes
What is the difference between birdwatching and birding? Birding with Vernon walk leader, Vernon Janke, will talk about the art of birding and the tools and techniques you need to improve your birding skills. Discover why birding is one of the most popular outdoor activities and use your new knowledge on a bird walk around the park. These classes run from 9 a.m.–noon. Choose a date below to register online.
Full Moon Paddle
Thursday, June 28, 8–10 p.m.
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight, and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Enjoy this unique opportunity to be in the park after hours! Preregistration is required. Choose a boat type below to register. There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats.
Bats of Lake Crabtree and Beyond
Friday, June 29, 7–9:30 p.m.

Take a closer look at these amazing nocturnal animals in this adult evening program. Learn about some of our local bat species and join us for a hike to search for Lake Crabtree's resident bats. Criteria II or III hours are available toward NC Environmental Education Certification.

Dragonfly Detectives Mini-Camp
Monday, July 23, to Wednesday, July 25, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. each day

Dragonfly Detectives Camp is a three-day mini-camp at Lake Crabtree County Park for children ages 9–13. This camp is co-sponsored by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Each camper will receive a dragonfly field guide, insect net, activity guide, and water bottle to keep. Snacks will be provided each day. Refund Policy: You must cancel 2 weeks in advance of a multi-session program or camp in order to get a refund/credit/transfer.
Explore the world of dragonflies! Learn about aquatic systems, animal migration, and dragonfly identification while participating in fun, scientific activities. Campers will help gather data on dragonfly migration and contribute to a citizen science project.
Pollinator Festival
Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Lake Crabtree is excited to host its sixth annual Pollinator Festival, in honor of National Pollinator Week. This event is FREE and features games, crafts, and all sorts of other activities. There will be prizes and cool stuff for you to take home, local experts to answer your questions, and food vendors. Show up any time. Fun for all ages!

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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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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 267.0
Created at 7/18/2012 3:16 PM by Daniel F. Wheeler
Last modified at 4/26/2018 10:35 AM by Carol A. Cunningham





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