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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.

Poster Contest

This years theme is "May the forest be with you always".

Deadline to enter is Friday, June 21, 2024

Find out more on our poster contest page.

Summer Programs, 2024
Conservation Kids Summer Camp

This year, we are excited to partner with the Izaak Walton League of America's Hamilton Chapter. They are a conservation group with 40 acres of property for us to explore. They have forest, prairie, a pond, and much more. The Chapter is interested in promoting local clean water and raising our children in all aspects of conservation and it's resources. 

New Location! At the Hamilton Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, 450 Beissinger Road, Hamilton OH 45013 (map).

When: Tuesdays from 10 am - 2 pm.

Please only register for the dates that you can attend.

  • July 2 Forestry

  • July 9 Mammals. Special Guest: Office Andrew Dowdell, the Wildlife Officer for Butler County

  • July 16 Passport to fishing.

  • July 23- we hope you will join us at the Butler County Fair.

Registration required

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. 

Two steps are required to reserve your child's place:

  1. Reserve your slot on SignUpGenius

  2. Complete the waiver/allergy form

Creeking in the Parks

Thursdays at 10 am.

Location changes each week

  • June 27 Governor Bebb Metropark, 1979 Bebb Park Ln, Okeana, OH 45053

  • July 4 - no program

  • July 11 Dudley Woods Park, 5591, Hankins Rd, Liberty Twp. Meet at the shelter.

  • July 12 (please note, this is a Friday, not the usual Thursday) Mill Race Preserve, Oxford. PArk either at the Covered Bridge and cross and walk a little downstream (5401 Corso Road, Oxford OH 45056) or Leonard G. Howell Park and follow the trail a little upstream (5200 Bonham Rd, Oxford, OH 45056)

  • July 18 Keehner Park, West Chester. Meet near the amphitheater

  • July 25 Turnbridge Park, Laurel Run Dr, Liberty Twp. We will meet near the parking lot.

  • August 1 Great Miami River in Fairfield. Park at the Great Miami River Recreation Trail Parking Lot located opposite the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League at approx. 4859 Groh Lane, Fairfield, OH 45014

Learn about the animals and fossils found in the creeks around the county. If the water is low, we may tweak the program to focus on fossils instead.

For the June programs, Butler SWCD partners with MetroParks of Butler County.   

All ages are welcome!

Registration is requested; This is to allow us to contact you if the program is canceled due to severe weather or high water. The decision is usually made the morning of the program.


Appropriate footwear required. No flip flops please.

Feel free to bring your own nets, buckets, etc. We will have some supplies to share. 


Please note, all wildlife must be left in the park. 

Other Kids Programs

At Butler SWCD, we partner with many other organizations to provide programs including:

Library Programs

Join us at the Oxford Lane Library.

Please register as space is limited

  • June 12, 3-4 pm: Natures Engineers: Meet the Beavers

  • July 17, 3-4 pm: Mapping the world


West Chester Parks - WOLF programs

Butler SWCD will be there on July 10. Topic is still being determined. 

Liberty Township Parks

See creeking programs above. Two dates are in Liberty Twp parks. 

Nature of Kids

Butler SWCD will be a guest presenter on Friday, July 12. This program will be held at Mill Race Preserve, 5401 Corso Road, Oxford OH 45056. It will be a bonus creeking program. 

Nature Games and Activities
Sound Maps

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
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:

Treasure Maps

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.

3D Mapmaking

 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!

ABC Walk

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.'

Color Walk

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.

Nature Words

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.

Creeks Critters

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

Identification sheets

Animal Videos: 

Other Videos:

Check out what we found at different creek around the county​

Wonderful Wildlife





  • Fairfield County Park District (in central, Ohio) has created an amazing series of kids activity sheets on salamanders, fox, woodpeckers, fungus, and more. 

Scavenger Hunts

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?

Rocks and Soil




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