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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.
April 1, May 6, June 3
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 the month, 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. Preregistration is required, and all participants must be registered.

Wetland Wonders
Saturday, April 1, 2–4 p.m.
Be prepared to get muddy as we study the vital role that wetland ecosystems play. We will net some macroinvertebrates, learn how to identify them, and discuss their value in the aquatic environment. Wander through some of Lake Crabtree's wetlands and discover what makes each one unique.  All ages.
Sunset Canoe Trip
Friday, April 7, 6–8 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, beavers and other wildlife. This program is for ages 5 and up. 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.
Hunting for Herps
Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m.–noon
Come learn about the unique life cycle that makes an amphibian an amphibian, and other ways they differ from reptiles. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted Eastern Box Turtle, Shel Silverstein, and join park staff as we go in search of wild turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitat.
Spring Butterflies Walk
Sunday, May 7, 10 a.m.–noon
View some of the early spring butterflies on a walk through Lake Crabtree's gardens and meadow. Learn how to identify some of our common butterfly species and discover their important roles in ecosystems. We will also identify the wildflowers being visited by these amazing insects.
Adult Programs
(Adults only)
Rain Barrel Workshops
Tuesday, March 28, 5:30–6:30 p.m. or 6:45–7:45 p.m.
Two opportunities to build your own rain barrel! Participants in these workshops 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! Workshops are limited to eight barrels, so reserve your spot now. One registration per barrel. Cost is $45 per barrel and participation is limited to two people per barrel. Click on a time below to register online.


Invasive Species Workshop
Thursday, April 6, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Celebrate NC Invasive Species Awareness Week by becoming a Weed Warrior! Learn about North Carolina's worst invasive plants and ways you can help to stop their spread. We will spend time learning how to identify common Piedmont species and discuss management strategies for each. After lunch, we will go out into the park and get hands-on experience with invasive control.
Mass Extinction & Endangered Species Workshop
Friday, May 12, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
There have been five massive extinctions in Earth's history. We are currently living in the sixth. In this workshop, we will discuss the causes for this massive die-off, worldwide endangered species, and local endangered species. Learn some success stories of species brought back from the brink of extinction, and discover what we can do to help species in crisis. Preregistration is required.
Full Moon Paddle
Friday, June 9, 8–10 p.m.
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight, and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Experience this unique opportunity to be in the park after hours! There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats. Preregistration is required. One registration per boat. Click on a boat type below to register.
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. Free. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5. 
Wednesday, April 5, 1–2 p.m.

Do you know "The Reason for a Flower"? This story will show why flowers are so important, and how they work. Discover the variety of animals that visit flowers and see how many kinds of wildflowers we can find in the park. We will explore colors and practice counting as we get up close with the blooms of Lake Crabtree.


Wednesday, May 3, 1–2 p.m.
Ladybugs help us in our gardens and are easy to identify. Learn all about their life cycle as we read "Are You a Ladybug?" and explore the park in search of these amazing insects. We'll play a counting game and make a ladybug to take home.

Wednesday, June 7, 1–2 p.m.
Most people recognize beavers when they spot them in a lake, but have you ever seen a muskrat? Learn all about these mysterious mammals as we read "Come Out, Muskrats." We will play a scent matching game, look for signs of muskrats near the lake and more!


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These programs are open to students 6–12 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Parent/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. Free. Preregistration is required. 


Footprints & Feces
Tuesday, April 11, 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.


Terrific Trees
Tuesday, May 23, 1–4 p.m. 

Join us to learn about all things trees! We will learn about the different parts of trees and their purpose, why trees are an important resource, and how to identify some of the most common trees in North Carolina. We will also make our own tree "cookies," a leaf identification notebook, and take a tree ID scavenger hunt hike!


Butterflies and Moths
Wednesday, June 21, 1–4 p.m.
What's the difference between a butterfly and a moth? Where do caterpillars come from? What is metamorphosis anyway? Come join park staff as we discover the answers to these questions and other fascinating facts about butterflies and moths.


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Spring Big Sweep
Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m.–noon
Help clean up Lake Crabtree's shoreline and other areas around the park. Individuals, families, and groups can register to participate in this event. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Gloves and bags will be provided. Participants must bring a completed Wake County Volunteer Waiver Form to the event. Long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. Drinking water, sunscreen, and a hat are recommended. Ages 5 and up.
                                                                              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: 231.0
Created at 7/18/2012 3:16 PM by Daniel F. Wheeler
Last modified at 3/21/2017 3:23 PM by Stephen R. Walston





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