Friday, December 30, 2016

Darke County Parks Receives Grant

The Darke County Park District would like to extend a huge thank you to the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund for their recent grant contribution. The funds will go toward building a new raptor, or bird of prey, enclosure known as a mew. A main objective of the new mew is to provide safe, public viewing areas for their owl. The new structure will ensure a safe, restful home for the animals where they are better protected from Ohio’s diverse weather and may allow the park to take on new animal ambassadors.

When considering new ambassadors, the park would be particularly interested in adopting an Eastern Screech Owl and/or an American Kestrel. Programs involving live animals are always exciting and in high demand, and these smaller species of raptors will allow them to travel to schools with more ease and will also give them the opportunity to teach about more varieties of native raptors. This project will add yet another wonder to explore during a visit to the park. The educational value of seeing a hawk or owl up close is unparalleled and for many creates a lifelong appreciation for nature.

Raptors are federally protected, and it is important for the park to inspire an appreciation for these amazing birds in the young and old alike. The mew will be a beautiful addition to the Nature Education Center, and it would be impossible to construct without the generous support from the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund. The park district strives to provide the best possible experience to the residents of Darke County and beyond and to ensure comprehensive education for the stewards of tomorrow. Thank you again to the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund for making this possible.

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