Play Passport to MetroParks with your family this summer

Five Rivers MetroParks has created a game the whole family can play just by spending time outdoors.

Passport to MetroParks challenges families to participate in nature education, conservation and outdoor recreation activities that can be done independently on their own time and at their own pace.

How to play Passport to MetroParks:

Find the passport in the summer issue of ParkWays, which was mailed to Montgomery County residents in mid-May and is available at MetroParks locations. Those who don’t have access to ParkWays or need extra copies of the passport and/or stamps can print one by visiting www.metroparks.org/passport.

While reading ParkWays look for the Passport to MetroParks logo to learn how to earn stamps.

Use the stamps on pages 7 and 25 of ParkWays or from metroparks.org/passport to fill in your passport. Recycled materials, such as paper or cardboard, also can be used to create a poster to display collected stamps.

Participants can take photos as they complete activities and post them to social media using the hashtag #Passport2MetroParks. MetroParks will share its favorite photos on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as we show off all the amazing outdoor spaces in our region that make Dayton the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. Note: Social media is not required to play Passport to MetroParks.

Kid-friendly activities

Become a citizen scientist: Downloading educational apps, such as iNaturalist, on a mobile device allows your child to become a citizen scientist by recording what they see in nature. Head to Germantown, Sugarcreek, Wegerzyn Gardens and Carriage Hill MetroParks to check out different habitats, such as mature forests with big trees, prairies and more.

MetroParks’ conservation areas — Woodman Fen, Dull Woods and Medlar Conservation Area — also are home to a variety of habitats that support a wide array of wildlife. Late July to early August is when Huffman Prairie and other prairies are in full bloom, boasting an array of vivid colors and blooms that attract pollinators, such as butterflies. See what you can find and record your observations.

Cool off: Summer days are long and hot and while there is no swimming in MetroParks, there are other places to cool down. Head to the sprayground at Island MetroPark or the interactive fountains at RiverScape MetroPark to splash and play in the water. Grab an ice cream at the Café or Fountain Snack Bar for an additional cool treat.

If you are at home and sheltered from a passing storm, be sure to head outside when it’s safe to splash in puddles, watch worms wiggle around the soil in your yard and more.

Nature play areas: Crafted from natural materials and assembled to help encourage imagination, nature play areas are nature’s answer to a playground. Located in Englewood, Hills & Dales, Possum Creek, Sugarcreek and WesleyanMetroParks, nature play areas offer a chance for kids to climb, jump, balance and play using their imaginations. Note: Possum Creek MetroPark’s nature play area is currently closed due to construction.

In addition to activities posted on www.metroparks.org/passport, more ideas for exploring the outdoors can be found on MetroParks’ Nature Is Open blog at www.metroparks.org/natureisopen.

Five Rivers MetroParks has other options that allow people to enjoy their MetroParks on their own time and at their own pace, such as the 2021 MetroParks Trails Challenge, Mindfulness Walks, Heart Healthy Trails and more.

Visit www.metroparks.org to learn more and download the MetroParks mobile app at www.metroparks.org/mobile to help plan a visit, navigate the trails, find park amenities and more.

Passport to MetroParks is sponsored by Homelight.

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