Want to volunteer at Allen County Parks?

We would love to have you!!!!

We need volunteers for all kinds of activities, be it
program help, maintenance help, removal of invasive
species, filling bird feeders, small construction projects, hosts/hostess, anything you’d like to do!!

All potential volunteers for the Allen County Parks
Department must complete a volunteer application
before volunteering. A link to this application can be
found at our website on the Volunteer in the Allen
County Parks page.

What's Happening at Metea County Park?

To view a complete and up-to-date list of activities occurring at Metea Park, please see the Wild Grapevine, available at the Allen County Parks website.

The Belted Kingfisher

By Karie Harding, Naturalist, Metea County Park

There are many trails that lead to Cedar Creek at Metea County Park. If you have the opportunity (and bug spray) to sit at one of the overlooks found near the creek, keep your eyes open for our resident belted kingfishers. These magnificent birds can be found perched on branches overlooking the creek. The branches provide a perfect perch for these birds to dive into the relatively clear water for small fish, crayfish or sometimes frogs. Kingfishers may also be seen pounding their prey on their perch to kill it before it is eaten.

The belted kingfisher is a medium-sized bird, 11-14 inches, has a large head with a shaggy crest, and a large beak. It is a bluish color with a white ring around its neck. The male kingfisher has a white belly, while the female has a red chest band and flanks. Unlike most birds, the female kingfisher is more brightly colored than the male. It has a distinctive call, sounding much like a harsh rattle.

The kingfisher digs a hole into the steep bank of a creek or river to form its nest chamber, usually in the same vicinity as hunting territory. The male and female both dig the nest until the tunnel is about six inches in diameter and six feet long. A chamber is dug at the end where the eggs are laid. This process usually takes about 3 to 7 days. The female will then lay 5-8 eggs in this chamber. These eggs take around 22 days to incubate and the young will hatch the same day within hours of one another.

These interesting birds are often seen flying or perching near Andrew Britton Overlook at Metea’s south (main) site. Sometimes they show up at the pond near the nature center. They can also be seen at Metea North near the gnarly, old, lopsided oak and Aldo Leopold benches. See if you can find or hear this bird!

Trail Guide Training Workshop

Sept. 28, Sunday, 1:00pm-4:00pm+, Fox Island County Park Nature Center

We are training trail guides for three choice “box” programs for school groups.

The idea is to train our trail guides on what we would like you to cover during a field trip in regard to the three most popular program choices for the fall season.

Following this training we would like you to stay for an early campfire supper where we can show each other unique gimmicks and gadgets (props) that you have used in order to make outdoor learning fun and interesting. Example: “scat tube made from 2-Liter bottles”-Scott Beam.

Hope to see you there! Pre-register (Call 449-3180) and bring a friend to this free workshop!

Campfire Cooking - Foil Dinner

September 26, Friday, 6:00 pm – Metea County Park fire ring

Come to Metea County Park with your own place-setting and beverage as we make a foil dinner.

We will supply the fire, food, foil and instructions, but you must do the cooking.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED for this program (You will be turned away if you have not registered). Register by calling 449-3777. Space is limited. $5.00 per person.

Girls in Boots! First Aid in the Outdoors

September 20, Saturday, 3-5pm, Metea County Park Nature Center

Girls in Boots is a monthly program designed to help women become more self sufficient in the outdoors. The program is recommended for women and young ladies from about 12 years old on up.

On this adventure, the Girls will learn what to do when your well thought out hike takes a turn for the worse. On the hike, we will cover cuts and scrapes; bites from insects, animals and reptiles; broken bones; and burns. All Girls participating will receive a free mini first aid kit.

This program is intended for information only and does not substitute for other training or certification programs.

A snack will be provided, but it is important to register so that we get the right amount of supplies.

Cost for this program is $5. Pre-registration is required. To reserve your spot, please call 260-449-3777.

NEAT – North East Allen Tour for bicycles

September 20, Saturday, ride starts 9 AM, Metea County Park

Enjoy an early fall ride through scenic northern Allen County while helping out Allen County Parks.

A 20-mile route tours Allen County, while 40-mile and 62-mile routes wind through Allen and DeKalb Counties. Visit three of the four Allen County Parks on all routes. Many other quality natural areas are also along the route, which is mostly on lightly traveled rural roads.

Snacks, drinks, a light lunch and emergency transportation service will be provided.

Registration opens at 8:30 on Saturday, September 20 at Metea County Park, located near the corner of Union Chapel and Leo Roads just west of Cedarville.

Registration required, ride fee is $15.00 before September 15, $18.00 after.

To obtain more information or a registration form, call 449-3180 or e-mail allencountyparks@yahoo.com. Many local bike shops also have registration forms.

Helmets required!

Sponsored by Allen County Parks, Summit City Bicycles and Fitness and Friends of Metea.

2008 Annual FoM Picnic - BYOHD

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It is time for the Friends of Metea's Annual Picnic.

It will be held on September 17 at 5:30PM at the outside pavilion at Metea Park.

Please bring your own hot dogs to roast, buns, a dish to share, your own drinks, and your own table service. Condiments will be furnished.

This is a good time to visit and know what is happening at the park. You do not need to be a member to attend.

We hope to see you there!

Preschool Morning Adventure – Butterflies

September 11, Thursday, 10:00 am, Metea County Park Nature Center

Come to Metea County Park with your preschooler to learn about butterflies.

We will read a book, make a craft, have a snack, sing some butterfly songs, and take a short hike and (hopefully) tag a butterfly or two.

$3.00 per child, $2.00 per adult partner (partner required). Please register by calling 449-3777.