Service Projects for Families
Looking for a project where your family can work together, look no further! Butler SWCD holds monthly volunteer events along with storm drain labeling that can be done almost anytime.
This years theme is "One Water".
Deadline to enter is June 30, 2023.
Find out more on our poster contest page.
Summer Programs, 2023
Conservation Kids Summer Camp
Tuesdays from 10 am - 2 pm
At the Hamilton Ecological Education and Nature Center in Joyce Park.
We will post details for the topics each week by mid-March.
June 13 Native Plants and Birds, plant native plants
June 20 Dandelion Detectives, collect weed and insect data for Ohio State University.
June 27 Learn about water quality with a tour of a water treatment plant, followed by water testing along the Great Miami. We will get in the river to catch critters, so a change of shoes is recommended.
July 4 - off for July 4th
July 11 Mammals followed by planting of shrubs to provide habitat
July 18 Passport to fishing, followed by a litter pickup
July 27 - we hope you will join us at the Butler County Fair.
Registration required. Register Here. Registration is first-come, first-served. If you sign up and find you cannot participate, please remove your name from the sign up to let another child attend.
Creeking in the Parks
Thursdays at 10 am.
Location changes each week
June 1 Rentschler Forest, Reigart Road
June 8 Rentschler Forest, Line Hill Mound (pond study)
June 15 Elk Creek Metropark, Sebald area (Elk Creek Road)
June 22 Gilmore Ponds (wetland wade)
June 29 Indian Creek Metropark, Oxford-Reily Road
July 6 Forest Run Metropark, Timberman Ridge (pond study)
July 13 Four Mile Creek, Antenen Preserve
July 20 Governor Bebb Metropark
Partners Butler Soil & Water Conservation District and MetroParks of Butler County will be your hosts for this series. Learn about the animals and fossils found in the creeks, ponds, and wetlands around the county.
All ages are welcome!
Registration is requested
Appropriate footwear required. No flip flops please.
Passport to Fishing
Saturday, July 15 from 9 am - 12 noon
At Elk Creek Metropark in Madison Twp
5101 Circle Parkway, Middletown
Ages 8- 17 only
New to fishing? Thought of taking the kids out, but haven’t cast your line yet? Join Butler Soil and Water Conservation District and MetroParks of Butler County for Passport to Fishing.
This is a program developed by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. The Division of Wildlife and their trained educators (that’s us!) use its curriculum as a beginning angler program for kids and teens.
Kids will learn the skills needed to fish and get time to practice these newly learned skills at the VOA lake with these trained educators and experienced fishermen and women. These skills include knot tying and rigging, line casting, fish identification, aquatic habitat health, and more!
Registration is REQUIRED for this FREE program and space is limited. The age range for this program is children ages 8-17. Please only register participating children. At least one adult must stay on-site with participating child/children for the duration of the program.
Other Kids Programs
At Butler SWCD, we partner with many other organizations to provide programs including:
West Chester Parks - WOLF programs
Butler SWCD will be there on June 28.
Pyramid Hill - Summer series for kids
On June 30th, at 1 pm. Pyramid Hill.
Registration is required. Find out more and register at www.pyramidhill.org
Liberty Township Parks
Still waiting to find out if we will be partnering with year. Info will be posted here as soon as it is available. www.liberty-township.com/calendar.aspx?CID=23
Nature of Kids
Butler SWCD will be a guest presenter on Friday, June 23 at VOA Park. We will have our huge soils trailer and be exploring the world beneath your feet. 10 am
Register for this free program at https://reservations.yourmetroparks.net/programs/3125/
Nature Games and Activities
What kinds of noises do you hear outside? Sit quietly in one spot and listen carefully. Mark the sounds on a map. The X on the map represents where you sit. The location of the mark should indicate the direction of the sound and if it is near or far from you. Just use simple marks such as a wavy line for wind, a V shape for a bird calling in flight, etc.
Do you think you will hear the same sounds at home as you do in the park?
What sounds might you hear next to a river, or forest?
Do you think the sounds would be the same in the morning as in the evening?
What sounds were the most familiar to you?
What sound had you never heard before? Do you know what made the sound?
What sound did you like best? Why?
Map making helps tune up your observation skills and understanding of where you are in relation to the world around you. We have two very different map making activities:
Draw a simple map of your yard. Hide a penny or small toy and mark it on your map. See if someone else can find it.
What symbols could you use to show things like a tree or veggie garden?
How can someone tell which way the map is facing.
Instead of simply drawing a map of your yard, make a 3D map using items from outside or inside your house. Use small pebbles to make a rock wall or pine needles to make grass. You could also create a map of your house with blocks, legos, or recyclables. Be creative!
While on a walk, try to find something that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Try to do this in ABC order. You can also challenge yourself to do this inside or in your backyard.'
How many colors can you find? You can try to search for a rainbow, or even pick some crayons out of a hat and try to find those colors in nature.
Parents can ask at the hardware store if they have old paint chips so that your children can match colors in nature with paint chips.
You can also try inside each room of your house. This is a great way to test your observation skills.
Do you have a favorite nature item? A rock, a leaf shape, an animal? Choose one natural item and write a descriptive paragraph about it without naming it. Be very detailed. Give your description to someone else and see if they name the object you described. This is a fun activity to try in your yard or at the park where you can describe an item you see and challenge someone to pick out the object that you described.
If you look at a creek, it's much more than just a bunch of moving water. There are nooks and crannies under rocks, holes in tree root clumps, and sneaky hiding spots in vegetation. These different areas provide awesome habitat for a wide variety of critters. In this section we have provided information that you can use to head out to a creek and identify the creatures you find.
with information on what to find and what to take to the creek
Check out what we found at different creek around the county
We've made a bunch of different scavenger hunts for different locations.
Looking Down- go for a hike and focus on the ground.
Sky- see in the sky and the tree tops
Staying in Place- find a place to sit outdoors and see what you can see
Window - what can you see from your window
Creek - what kind of wildlife and wildlife habitat can you find at your local creek?
Rivers, Streams, and Wetlands
Sum of the Parts from Project WET. Page 5 in this kids activity guide https://www.projectwet.org/sites/default/files/content/documents/WASH/Water_is_Life_EN.pdf
Fred the Fish story and activity