Five-Park Picnics slated for Sept. 3
A 5-park community picnic with music, food and family activities at five parks will kick off a season of fall fun in the Metroparks Sunday, September 3.
The Andersons Pack the Parks Community Picnic, from noon to 5 p.m., will include area bands and $1 picnic packs, including hot dog, chips, soft drink and cookie. Activities for children will be ongoing from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at each park. Admission is free.
Metroparks included in the celebration and the bands that will be performing are:
• Oak Openings - Groovemaster (reggae)
• Pearson - Bob May (blues/rock)
• Side Cut - NuTones (British invasion)
• Swan Creek - Hepcat Revival (swing)
• Wildwood - east entrance: Theresa Harris Quartet (jazz); west entrance: Josh Boyd (blues/rock)
Reminiscent of the World’s Largest Picnic in 2003, the Pack the Parks Picnic, sponsored by The Andersons, is an opportunity for families to sample what Metroparks has to offer. More than 15,000 people attended the first community picnic, which marked Metroparks 75th anniversary.
The event will kick off this year’s Autumn Adventure, an annual fall walking program that continues through November 7. Autumn Adventure hikes led by Metroparks naturalists are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. on the morning of the picnic at each of the five parks.
More Fall Fun
Metroparks also announced the following programs this fall:
Canal Days, Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10 from noon to 4 p.m.; each day at Providence Metropark in Grand Rapids. Board an authentic, mule-drawn canal boat for a 45-minute journey narrated by living history characters, see water-power used to saw logs and grind grain at the Ludwig Mill and shop the General Store. Blacksmith Tom Ferrenburg will give demonstrations in the mill from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Fall Color Photo Workshops, a new series beginning Tuesday, October 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the National Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark. For a $60 fee, beginning photographers will receive instruction from a naturalist and a professional nature photographer, then return on three dates in October to photograph fall color:
• Farnsworth Metropark, October 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
• Oak Openings Preserve, October 14 from 9 to 11 a.m.
• Secor, October 28 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Black Swamp Festival, Sunday, October 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Pearson Metropark. The free family festival includes crafts, wigwam-building demonstrations, woodcarvers, spinners, basket weavers and entertainment. Seasonal refreshments will be available for a nominal charge. The free event is cosponsored with Friends of Pearson. A Black Swamp Lantern Tour will be held on Saturday, October 7. Living history characters will bring the 1800s to life during a guided walk through the dark woods. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. The cost $5 and reservations are required by calling 419-407-9700.
Fall Seed Gathering, a fun, social activity, will be held throughout the season. Metroparks is seeking families, church and civic organizations and businesses to help collect sees from prairie plants. Seeds are used to help restore land to its natural condition. For a list of seed gathering dates, or to schedule a date for a group, call 419-407-9700.