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St. Joseph County Parks

Your Place for Outdoor Family Fun!
Bendix WoodsFerrettie/BaugoCrone Restoration AreaLaSalle TrailSpicer LakeSt. Patrick'sAnderson RoadChamberlain Lake
 
Special Events:
REO Speedwagon
Running Wild 2016
 
Park Programs:
Big Trees
Calendar of Events
IN Master Naturalist
Leisure Activities
Nature Munchkins
Outdoor Adventures Day Camp 2016
School & Scout
 
Information:
Annual Report
Contacts
Deer Management
Support School Programs
Employment/ Volunteer Opps
Facility Rental Information
The Friends of St. Joseph County Parks
Park Foundation
Park Hours/Fees
Park Maps
Master Plan
Greenways Charrette
Park Related Links
Request for Proposals
Park Rules

Calendar of Events

For Outdoor Fun, check out these workshops, nature programs, family activities and more!
For information or to register for events, phone 574-654-3155 or email bendixwoods@sjcparks.org.
All programs have a minimum and maximum registration number; register early!

Fifty for 50!

In honor of the County Parks’ 50th Anniversary, we are celebrating with 50 free or discounted programs and special offers throughout the year! Look for this symbol highlighting the “Fifty for 50” events!


May


  • May 4, 11, 18 Wednesdays
  • Boomers and Beyond: Spring Walking Club
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 2 to 3:15pm
  • Fee: $18/person for 6 sessions

Boomers! Meet other people who are interested in walking for fitness! Each walk will be approximately 40 minutes long,
followed by brain-boosting activities from Memorial BrainWorks. Boost your health and wellness! Registration and payment are required by April 8.


  • 7 Saturday
  • Webelos Adventure: Into the Wild
  • Spicer Lake Nature Preserve: Visitor Center
  • 9am to 3pm Fee: $8/scout

Webelos, enjoy a day of outdoor exploring while completing all requirements for this AOL Elective Adventure. We’ll end the day with an optional swamp stomp! Registration and payment are required by April 29.


50th
  • 7 Saturday
  • Mountain Bike Class
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Deneve Shelter
  • 10am to noon Free!

Want to learn how to ride a mountain bike safely on back country trails? The Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association will host this introductory workshop that includes basics and essentials for safe riding. Participants must bring a bike helmet and a safe mountain bike with all working components. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Participants must have the ability to ride up to 1 mile on a single-track mountain bike trail. Registration is required by May 4.


50th
  • 8 Sunday
  • 50th Anniversary: Gate Fee Rollback

To celebrate 50 years of outdoor fun, St. Joseph County Parks will “rollback” gate fees to what they would have been in 1966: 67 cents.


  • 8 Sunday
  • Mother’s Day Canoe & Cookies
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • Trip Times: 9:30am or 12:30pm
  • Fee: $25/canoe

It’s a day to play and create Mother’s Day memories while paddling down a 4.5-mile stretch of the St. Joseph River. Afterwards, enjoy some cookies and milk. Each canoe can accommodate up to three people. Canoes, paddles, cushions, lifejackets and basic
instruction will be provided. Not recommended for children 3 years and under. Registration and payment are required by May 5.


  • 12 Thursday
  • Early Bird Kayak Trip
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 5:30pm Fee: $15/person

Take advantage of an early season opportunity to kayak down the St. Joseph River at a reduced rate. Registration and payment are required by May 9.


  • 14 Saturday
  • Recycled Paper Making
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Interpretive Center
  • 9am to noon Fee: $3/person

Make your own paper, and turn it into a custom greeting card with embellishments. Suitable for adults, and children ages 10 and above with an adult. All materials provided. Registration and payment are required by May 6.


  • 14 Saturday
  • Girls Ambitious About Learning Science (GALS)
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Fragomeni Shelter
  • 9am to 1:30pm Fee: $10/student

5th-8th grade girls, come and enjoy a morning of outdoor science fun led by women scientists from the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University of South Bend. Join these women as they share their passion for science! Lunch will be provided during the program. Registration and payment are required by May 6.

Acrobat Reader Girls Ambitious About Learning Science Flyer   Acrobat Reader Gals Registration and Waiver Form


50th
  • 15 Sunday
  • Get Out There!
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek: Oak Tree Shelter
  • 1 to 4pm Free!

Experience a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. Go canoeing or kayaking, learn to fish, play disc golf, practice archery or go geocaching! This event is designed for the whole family to get outside and enjoy the outdoors!


50th
  • 21 Saturday
  • Grassland Bird Hike
  • Beverly Crone Restoration Area
  • 8 to 10am Free!

The 110-acre Beverly Crone Restoration Area is a nesting ground for several species of endangered grassland birds. We will walk the gravel path to search for Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Henslow’s Sparrow and more! Bring binoculars; loaners will also be available. The Restoration Area is located at Jackson Rd. and Locust Rd. just west of U.S. 31. Park on the spur on the south side of Jackson, just east of Locust. Registration is required by May 18.


  • 21 Saturday
  • Beginner Canoe and Kayak Lessons
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9am to 12:30pm Fee: $15/person

Start the season off right! Join certified instructor Ted Beatty for an on-the-water class that will focus on basic fundamentals, safety, loading/unloading and transporting your canoe/kayak. Fee includes gate fee and use of equipment, including life jackets. Registration is required by May 18.


  • 22 Sunday
  • Mayors’ Bike Ride
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 7 to 11am

The Mayors’ Ride encourages cyclists of all ages to enjoy South Bend, Mishawaka, and St. Joseph County’s connected bikeways and bicycle-friendly infrastructure. For information or to register visit www.bikemichiana.org.


  • 25 Wednesday
  • Scales and Slime: Spring Home School Program
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 10 to 11:30am Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! Examine mystery boxes to get more information about the fish-stealer and hike to find a clue that it left behind. Make a button as a reward for solving the case! Registration is required by May 23.


  • 28 Sarurday
  • REO Speedwagon
  • St. Patrick’s County Park
  • Fischgrund Center for the Performing Arts
  • 7:30 pm, Gates open at 6 pm

Brought to you by Pacific Coast Concerts. Founding member Neal Doughty and Kevin Cronin bring this Illinois-originated band back to the Midwest. They’ll play their hits “Keep on Lovin’ You,” “Time for Me to Fly,” “Roll with the Changes,”  and more.  

REO Speedwagon

Tickets available at:  Orbit Music/Mishawaka, Audio Specialists/South Bend, Karma Records/Plymouth & Warsaw, LaPorte Civic Auditorium Box Office, Morris Performing Arts Center Box Office. Charge by phone 574/235-9190 or online www.morriscenter.org . No carry-in food or beverage. Festival seating: bring a lawn chair or blanket. St. Patrick’s County Park is a smoke-free venue. For more info on venue: http://www.sjcparks.org/amprules.html


June


50th
  • 4-10        Saturday-Friday
  • Women’s Week for Disc Golf
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park

Disc golf is a great sport for women, and women play FREE all this week! Disc golf can be a leisurely stroll or an intense
competition! Bring your friends and give disc golf a try!


50th
  • 4 & 5      Saturday & Sunday
  • Free Fishing Weekend
  • St. Joseph County Parks
  • 10am to 9pm

This weekend only, Indiana residents may fish without a state fishing license in Indiana waters. Free Fishing Weekend is designated each year by the Department of Natural Resources to promote angling as a recreational activity. Free gate fee for those fishing, just show us your fishing poles!


  • 8              Wednesday
  • Archery Lesson
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Fee: $10/person
  • Ages 12 & up, accompanied by adult

Join a local archery instructor for an archery lesson. Get hands-on experience with all the equipment and enjoy a personalized
shooting lesson. Registration and payment are required by June 6.


  • 10           Friday
  • Teacher Workshop: Project Learning Tree
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 8:30am to 2pm
  • Fee: $27/person

Outdoor learning experiences are vital for children! Discover how you can integrate the natural world into your teaching with Project Learning Tree. Gain hands-on experience with games, experiments and projects that correspond with Indiana’s Academic
Standards. Take home a guide containing more than 90 lesson plans. Registration and payment are required by June 3.


50th
  • 15           Wednesday
  • Good Clean Dirty Fun! Nature Play Day
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Free!

Families, join us for the evening! Get outside and get dirty in the mud! Other muddy activities: mud painting, stomping in a swamp, making mud pies and a giant slip and slide. Wear old clothes and shoes, and bring a towel.


  • 17           Friday
  • Sunset Canoe and Campfire
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • Check-in at 7pm
  • Fee: $25/canoe, up to 3 people

Enjoy paddling by the light of the setting sun and experience the serenity and wildlife of the evening river. Afterwards relax by a campfire and enjoy a s’more. All equipment and basic instruction will be provided. Not recommended for children 3 and under. Registration and payment required by June 13.


  • 18           Saturday
  • Father’s Day Ice Cream “Float”
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • Check-in at 10am
  • Fee: $25/canoe

Grab a paddle...this is not your usual ice cream float! Make a day to play, explore and create memories while enjoying a 4-mile trip down the St. Joseph River. Cool down afterwards with a root beer float. All equipment and basic instruction will be provided. Not recommended for children 3 and under. Registration and payment are required by June 14.


  • 19           Sunday
  • Beginner Canoe and Kayak Lessons
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9am to 12:30pm
  • Fee: $15/person

Join certified instructor Ted Beatty for a basic canoe/kayak lesson including safety, paddling strokes, loading/un-loading and transporting a canoe/kayak. Fee includes gate fee and use of canoe/kayak, paddle and life jacket. Registration and payment are required by June 16.


  • 20           Monday
  • 5th Annual WNIT Kids Day in the Park
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Fragomeni Shelter
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Fee: $5 donation/vehicle or free to WNIT members

Bring the family out to the park for kids’ games and activities, story corner, nature station, and portable disc golf. Pizza and beverages provided by Papa John’s. Proceeds to benefit WNIT. For more information call 574/675-9648 or go to www.wnit.org. Organized and sponsored by WNIT, Papa John’s Pizza, Better World Books and St. Joseph County Parks.


  • 22, 29, July 6        Wednesdays
  • Boomers and Beyond: Disc Golf
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park
  • 10 to 11am
  • Fee: $9/person for 3 sessions

Join other Boomers (ages 50+) for fun and exercise on the disc golf course. Park staff will lead each session with basic instructions and then have time to play on the course. Disc rental included. Registration and payment are required by June 17.


  •  26           Sunday
  • Michiana Paddlefest
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 8am to noon
  • Fee: race registration

Paddlefest canoe and kayak events are geared toward both beginner and advanced paddling abilities. Races are held for all ages. This event is sponsored by Michiana Watershed, Inc. and St. Joseph County Parks. For more information on this special event, visit
www.paddlefest.org.


July


  • 12 & 19 Tuesdays
  • Mobile Photography
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Harvest Room
  • 5:30 to 7:30pm
  • Fee: $20/person

Join Gina Costa, internationally renowned photographer, as she helps you turn your smartphone into a wonderful tool. Discover secrets of your phone’s camera and download additional cameras and apps. Learn how to edit photos and work in different lighting situations. Registration and payment are required by July 6.


  • 13           Wednesday
  • Boomers and Beyond: Beginner Canoe and Kayak Lessons
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 5:30 to 7:30pm
  • Fee: $10/person

Join other Boomers (ages 50+) for a basic canoe/kayak lesson including safety, paddling strokes, loading/unloading and transporting a canoe/kayak with a certified instructor. Fee includes use of canoe/kayak, paddle and life jacket. Registration and payment are required by July 8.


  • 20           Wednesday
  • Archery Lesson
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Fee: $10/person
  • Ages 12 & up, accompanied by adult

Join a local archery instructor for an archery lesson. Get hands-on experience with all the equipment and enjoy a personalized shooting lesson. Registration and payment are required by July 18.


  • 22, 23, 29, and 30       Fridays & Saturdays
  • Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Robert J. Fischgrund Center for the Performing Arts
  • 7:30pm
  • Advance tickets $15
  • At the door, $15/child, $25/adult (18+)

Enjoy a jolly holiday with your favorite, “practically perfect” nanny under the stars as South Bend Civic Theatre presents “Mary Poppins.” Bring your family and friends to enjoy the show where our volunteer actors are your neighbors, classmates, teachers, and friends. Tickets are available online anytime at sbct.org or by calling the box office at 574-234-1112.
Production Sponsor: Merrill Lynch - Matt Kahn and Associates.
Flying effects made possible by South Bend Airport.


 August


  • 12           Friday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Summer Night Sky
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 9 to 11pm
  • Fee: $7/person

Spend an evening absorbing the beauty of the night sky. A brief presentation will introduce you to the night sky at this time of year. Afterwards, enjoy refreshments, look through a telescope, and chat with a member of the Michiana Astronomical Society who will be on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge. Observe the waxing moon at twilight and watch for a shooting star (the Perseid Meteor Showers peak on August 12). Registration and payment are required by August 8.


  • 17           Wednesday
  • Archery Lesson
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Fee: $10/person
  • Ages 12 & up, accompanied by adult

Join a local archery instructor for an archery lesson. Get hands-on experience with all the equipment and enjoy a
personalized shooting lesson. Registration and payment are required by August 15.


  • 20           Saturday
  • Running Wild: 5K Trail Run & 3K Fun Walk
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • Registration begins at 8am
  • Run/walk starts at 9am

A FUNd-raising run and walk to benefit St. Joseph County Parks. Help us raise funds for park projects, including
scholarships to help schools cover the cost of transportation to the parks for programs. Dogs on leashes are welcome for the family fun walk. Fun walk will have a nature scavenger hunt. Age division prizes for timed run. To register click here.


  • 21           Sunday
  • Boomers and Beyond Day

To celebrate 50 years of outdoor fun, St. Joseph County Parks will waive the park entrance fee for Boomers (50 yrs +). Valid ID required.


  • 27           Saturday
  • Orienteering Meet
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Hurwich Shelter
  • 10am
  • Fee: $10/person plus gate fee

Orienteering is a cross country race with a map and compass. Use a map to make your way between checkpoints. For more information visit tinyurl.com/zyfc753.


September


  • 1              Thursday
  • Bag a Bat and a Batnana Split
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 7:30 to 10pm
  • Fee: $3/person

Discover the world of the bats of Indiana. Observe mist netting and procedures biologists use to record information about bats. End the evening with a batnana split. Registration and payment are required by August 29.


Other Park Programs


Garden Work Days

  • Bendix Woods County Park: Nature Center
  • 9:30am to noon

Do you have a green thumb? If not, that’s ok! Help us tidy up the landscaping around the Nature Center in preparation for our big 50th Birthday Party. Please call to register at 574/654-3155.

Monday, March 28
Monday, April 11
Monday, May 9
Monday, June 6


Invasive Species Work Days

  • Bendix Woods County Park: Nature Center
  • 1pm to 3pm

Help keep the aliens (garlic mustard and other invasives) at bay. Dress for outdoor work. Gloves, hiking shoes, garden
trowels, water bottle and insect spray recommended. Call 574-654-3155 to register.

Monday, April 11
Monday, May 9
Monday, May 23


Bat Roost Monitoring Program

  • When: May 17-July 15
  • Site: St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn

Do you like bats? Become a volunteer to participate in assisting park staff to count our bat population at St. Patrick’s County Park. Call 574/654-3155 for more information or to sign up.


Nature Munchkins

Nature Munchkins is designed for parents or grandparents to discover nature with their 3- to 4-year-old.
9:30 to 11am St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn

  • April 21—Reptiles and Amphibians
  • May 19—Birds
  • June 16—Mud Monsters

The fee is $5 per adult-child pair and $3 for a second child. Participants may register for four sessions for $16. Advance registration and payment are required. Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend. For more information or to register call 574/654-3155.

Nature Munchkins

50th

Wild Wednesdays at the Playground

Families, come out and enjoy free hands-on programs about some of the most mysterious animals of the park!
St. Patrick’s County Park: Jaffe Shelter
11am

Wednesday, June 22:
Bats
Discover the amazing lives of these night-flying, insect-eating predators!

Wednesday, July 20:
Spiders
Explore the world of these eight-legged, web-spinning wonders!

Wednesday, August 10:
Owls
Examine the silent wings, sharp talons and hooked beaks of these elusive creatures!


Outdoor Adventures Summer Day Camp

During Outdoor Adventures day camp at St. Patrick's County Park, you'll splash, hike and climb your way to adventurous outdoor fun! Practice archery or wade down the creek. Catch tadpoles in the pond. Paddle a canoe or kayak. Whether it's through an active challenge, game or a quiet moment of observation, you'll find surprising discoveries waiting around every corner.

Acrobat Reader Outdoor Adventures Brochure and Registration Form