Monday, January 23, 2017

Darke County Parks Receives Ketrow Grant

The Darke County Park District would like to extend a huge thank you to the Ketrow Foundation for their recent grant contribution. The funding from this grant will be used to overhaul the Nature Center’s outdated “Kids’ Corner”.

Currently it has a child sized table and chairs with crayons, books, puzzles, blocks, and stuffed wild animal toys. While this area does provide entertainment for little ones while their older companions explore the nature center exhibits, it hasn’t been updated in fifteen years, and many pieces are damaged or missing. The park district staff plans to move the books to a new kids’ section in their library and use the area for more creative play.

Possible ideas for the new corner include things like a larger-than-life manufactured bird’s nest; a turtle shell that kids can climb inside; wearable wings; and a touch area for animal pelts, antlers, bones, and other articles from the natural world. This space will encourage exploratory play and promote the use of imagination, creativity, and inquiry. Instead of reading about nature in a book, these young naturalists can touch, explore, see, and experience it right there in their own nook of our facility. This new kids’ corner will help Darke County Parks expand the age range of their displays to better accommodate the full spectrum of nature center visitors and refresh a very dated and underutilized area.

The updates will be a beautiful addition to the Nature Education Center and, thanks to the generous support from the Ketrow Foundation, they are now possible. The park district is grateful to the trustee of the foundation for making this possible.

For information about Darke County Parks, their programs, or the Nature Center on St. Rt. 502 just west of Greenville, call (937) 548-0165, or email

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