​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 colleen.bockhahn@wakegov.com 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. 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.
October 4, November 1, December 6

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, 6:30–8 p.m.
September 17

Meet at the Boat Rental Docks.
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. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Here, Fishy, Fishy
Wednesday, September 24, 9–11 a.m.
FREE in celebration of Take A Child Outside Week.
Meet at the Floodplain.
Program leaders will catch fish and other aquatic wildlife using a variety of methods. We'll spend time observing and identifying the critters we catch, and learn basic fish anatomy and life history. If time allows, we'll play a game to demonstrate an aquatic food web.

Rabies for Lunch!
Thursday, September 25, noon–2 p.m.
FREE in celebration of Take A Child Outside Week.

Meet at the Beech Shelter.
Here at Lake Crabtree we're positively salivating at the chance to help you swallow your fears about rabies. Rabies is a serious disease, but we're hoping to use a little humor to take a bite out of its fearsome reputation. Join us for some bat cupcakes, and we'll give you the best rabies vaccine next to the real thing: the facts!

Mysterious Mushrooms
Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.–noon
FREE in celebration of Take A Child Outside Week.

Meet at the Waterwise Garden.
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 species found in our area and discover the important role they play in our ecosystem.

Telling Trails
Sunday, September 28, 4–6 p.m.
FREE in celebration of Take A Child Outside Week.

Meet at the Beech Shelter.
Ever wonder what animal made those tracks you came across while wandering in the wilderness? Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks and other signs that they leave behind. Join us for an eye-opening hike and make an animal track to take home.

TACO Scavenger Hunt
Monday, September 29, 6–7:30 p.m.
FREE in celebration of Take A Child Outside Week.
Follow the clues to discover Lake Crabtree's hidden secrets. Along the way, we'll learn how to use a map, a compass, and find out a few things about the park's history and its human and non-human inhabitants.

Fall Garden Day
Sunday, October 5, noon–3 p.m.

Summer's done, so it's time to get our garden ready for fall. We're looking for some volunteers to help us play in the dirt while we trim the old plants and plant some new ones. Along the way, we'll share some tips for keeping your garden green and blooming into autumn, attracting wildlife, and making sure you're ready for spring.

Project Feeder Watch
Saturday, November 1, 9–11 a.m.
Become a backyard scientist! Project Feeder Watch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas and other locales in North America. The data collected from this project help scientists track movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Learn how you can participate in this and other citizen science projects at home.

Staff will also introduce participants to projects they can help with at Lake Crabtree.
We have binoculars and field guides to borrow, but bring your own if you've got them. Bring a camera to if you'd like; we'd love to see your pictures!

Winter Tree ID
Saturday, December 13, 1–3 p.m.
Have trouble telling trees apart when they don't have leaves? We'll teach you! Learn how to identify several common species through the use of twigs, buds, bark and growth habit. Hand lenses and field guides will be provided. Ages 7 and up.

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Adult Programs
(Adults only)

Night Paddle
Friday, November 7, 5–7 p.m.
Enjoy sunset on the lake and join staff in Lake Crabtree's first nighttime paddle.  Participants will get the unique opportunity to experience the lake after dark and see the park from a new perspective. Glow sticks, life jackets and all other equipment will be provided. Dress for the weather. No flip-flops allowed. Please specify what type of boat you would like on your registration form (tandem canoe, tandem kayak, solo kayak). If you are registering with another adult, please choose a tandem boat.

Mass Extinction and Endangered Species
Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
There have been five massive extinctions in Earth's history. We are currently living in the sixth. We'll discuss the causes for this massive die-off, worldwide endangered species, local endangered species, success stories, and what we can do to help species in crisis.

If you are working on your NC Environmental Education Certification, Criteria II or III hours are available for this program as are continuing education credits. An optional pre-workshop homework is available for an additional two hours credit. Please bring a bag lunch. If you would like materials to take home, please bring a memory stick.

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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.

Fishing at Long Pond
by William T. George
Wednesday, October 1, 1–2 p.m.

Join Katie and her grandfather for a day of fishing at Long Pond and see what other animals call the pond home. We'll learn what makes fish unique and practice our fishing skills.

Possum's Harvest Moon
by Anne Hunter
Wednesday, November 5, 1–2 p.m.

Possum wants to throw a party to celebrate the harvest moon, but most of the other animals are preparing for the long winter.  Will anyone come to Possum's celebration?  After the story we'll learn how to "play possum" and make an opossum 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 and the cost is $8 per child, unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required.

Fur Bearin' Critters
Wednesday, October 15, 1–3 p.m.
What makes a mammal a mammal? We'll examine skulls, bones, skins, fur, teeth and scat to determine what makes some mammals unique as well as what they have in common. Then we'll use our eyes and noses to search the woods for signs of our furry cousins!

Tuesday, November 18, 1–3 p.m.
If you missed June's Orienteering program, here's your second chance. 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, including reading bearings, calculating your stride, and more. Use your new skills to find your way on our newly updated and revamped 1-mile orienteering course through the woods.

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Special Events
Big Sweep
Saturday, October 4, 9 a.m.–noon
Meet at the Boat Rental Tower
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 to sign up.