​On-site and Outreach Group Programs

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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.
August 2, September 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.
August 6 & 20

FREE
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.

Lost Ladybug Project
Sunday, August 3, 1–3 p.m.
FREE
Meet at the Manager's Office.
Everyone recognizes ladybugs, but did you know that our native ladybugs are disappearing? Scientists have developed the Lost Ladybug Project to get citizens involved in helping determine the reasons behind this trend. Join park staff in learning how to identify the native and non-native ladybugs in our area, learn about the life cycle and behaviors of ladybugs, and explore ways to help our "lost ladybugs." Participants are encouraged to bring a camera, especially if they want to help catalog the ladybugs we collect in the field. Participants interested in additional time can stay after the program to help photograph and add the ladybugs to the online database.

Spider Sniffing
Friday, August 15, 8–10 p.m.
$3/person or $5/family
Meet at the Waterwise Garden.
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."

Sunset Canoe Trip
Friday, August 29, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
$5/person or $10/canoe (max. 2 adults, 1 child per canoe)
Meet at the Boat Rental Facility.
Join park staff for an evening paddle on the lake. We'll look for animals active at dusk, learn basic paddling techniques, and see the park from a new perspective. Ages 5 and up. Participants are encouraged to bring drinking water and wear sunscreen.

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.

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Adult Programs
(Adults only)

Dragonflies & Damselflies
Saturday, August 2, 10 a.m.–noon
$3/person
Meet at the Manager's Office.
Discover the amazing world of Odonates, a family of insects most commonly known as dragonflies and damselflies. These predators have a fascinating life cycle and are living fossils. Learn all about the anatomy and life history of these extraordinary creatures and how to identify some of the species found in North Carolina. At least half of this program will be out in the field, observing dragonfly behavior and practicing ID skills.

Rain Barrel Workshops
Wednesday, August 20, 5–6 p.m. OR 6–7 p.m.
$40/barrel, make checks payable to: The Agni Institute

Build your own rain barrel! At these workshops, you 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! Space is limited, so register early.

Registrations and payments must be received by 1 p.m. on Friday, August 15.  Please indicate on the form which session you wish to attend, 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes. Registration is limited to two people per barrel, and participants must be 12 years or older.

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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.

Animals in Camouflage
by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
Wednesday, August 6, 1–2 p.m.
Animals use many different strategies to hide from predators. Discover which animals use camouflage, and why. We'll search for animals in the woods and help animals hide.

Fishing at Long Pond
by William T. George
Wednesday, September 3, 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.

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Homeschool and Track-Out Programs
These programs are open to students 6–12 years old (Please note that our age limits have changed). Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter and the cost is $8 per child, unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required.

The Hurricane Game
Monday, September 8, 1–3 p.m.
Since the Atlantic hurricane season peaks in September, we have devoted September's program to hurricane education. Get ready to be blown away by Lake Crabtree's own 'Hurricane Game,' a strategy board game where you and your team brainstorm together to prepare for the onslaught of one player who plays as the incoming hurricane. 'Weather' or not you win or lose, you're sure to learn something!

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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.
 
Creepy Crabtree
Saturday, October 25
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!