St. Joseph County Parks

Your Place for Outdoor Family Fun!
Bendix WoodsFerrettie/BaugoCrone Restoration AreaLaSalle TrailSpicer LakeSt. Patrick'sAnderson RoadChamberlain Lake
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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.


May


  • 2              Saturday
  • Birds and Blooms
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Nature Center
  • 9am to noon
  • Fee: $5/person

Begin with an indoor introduction to spring ephemerals and migrating birds. Then enjoy a walk and talk in the Nature Preserve. A special “Birds ‘n Blooms” treat will be provided after the hike. Registration is required by April 27. (Min. 7; max. 15 adults)

Birds and Blooms

  • 2, 9         Saturdays
  • Hoosier Riverwatch Volunteer Water Monitor Training
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 8:30am to 12:30pm
  • Free

Become certified to monitor a stream and submit data to the state database. This training is open to all adults, and can be especially useful for educators. Gain experience in the use of chemical testing kits and aquatic insect identification. Please attend both sessions. Registration is required by April 24. For more information go to www.hoosierriverwatch.com. (Min. 4; max. 12)

Hoosier River Watch

  • 6              Wednesday
  • Hula Hoops 101
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: White Barn Harvest Room
  • 6 to 8 pm
  • Fee: $7/person

Hula hooping—it’s fun for kids and great exercise for adults! Make a custom hula hoop tailored to your height and have fun decorating it! Registration and payment are required by May 1. (Min. 5; max. 15)


  •  6, 13     Wednesdays
  • Boomers and Beyond: Spring Walking Club
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 10 to 11:15am or 2 to 3:15pm
  • Fee: $18/person for 6 sessions

Meet other people interested in walking for fitness! Each walk will be approximately 40 minutes long, followed by brain-boosting activities from Memorial BrainWorks. Registration and payment are required by April 3. (Min. 5; max. 15)


  • 10           Sunday
  • Mother’s Day Canoe & Cookies
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11am
  • Fee: $25/canoe

It’s a day to play, explore and create some adventurous 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 age three and under. Registration and payment are required by May 7. (Min. 4 canoes; max. 12)

Canoe and Cookies

  • 11, 18; June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29          Mondays
  • Tai Chi by the Pond
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Moat Room
  • 9:30 to 10:30am
  • Fee: $40/person for 7 sessions

Join a certified Tai Chi for Health Institute instructor for lessons by the pond. Tai Chi is a great way to add more movement to your life and improve your health and wellness. Class will be outdoors as weather permits, indoors in event of rain. Registration and payment are required by May 4. (Min. 5; max. 20)

tai chi

  • 17           Sunday
  • Get Out There!
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek: Oak Tree Shelter
  • 1 to 4pm
  • Fee: $7/vehicle

Experience a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities in honor of the National Wildlife Federation’s “Be Out There” campaign and the “No Child Left Inside” national initiative. Go canoeing or kayaking, learn to fish, play disc golf, practice archery or go geocaching! This event is designed for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors!

Get Outh There!

  • 20           Wednesday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Guided Kayak Trip
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 5 to 7 pm
  • Fee: $15/person

Women wanting to explore the sport of kayaking, join other women for a leisurely trip on the St. Joseph River. Participants will be accompanied by park staff in this casual journey to enjoy the splendor of spring. Kayak instructions will be provided. Registration and payment are required by May 18. (Min. 5; max. 12)


  • 21           Thursday
  • Spring Home School Program: Ponds
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30
  • Fee: $3/child

Who is hiding under the water’s surface? Scoop in the pond to discover who lives there, and help to create a hilarious frog chorus! Registration is required by May 19.


  • 23           Saturday
  • Grassland Bird Hike
  • Beverly Crone Restoration Area
  • 8 to 10am

The 110-acre Beverly Crone Restoration Area is a nesting ground for several species of endangered grassland birds. We will walk the gravel path on the property as we look and listen for Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Henslow’s Sparrows 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. (Min. 5; max. 15)


  • 27; June 3             Wednesdays
  • Mobile Photography
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Harvest Room
  • 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • Fee: $20/person

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. Led by international photographer, Gina Costa, Professor of 20th Century art and photography and curator the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. Registration and payment are required by May 20.
(Min. 6; max. 20)

Mobile Photography

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

Get hands-on experience with archery equipment and enjoy a personalized shooting lesson. Equipment provided. Registration and payment are required by May 26. (Min. 5; max. 12)


June


  • 1, 8, 15, 22, 29          Mondays
  • Tai Chi by the Pond
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Moat Room
  • 9:30 to 10:30am
  • Fee: $40/person for 7 sessions

Join a certified Tai Chi for Health Institute instructor for lessons by the pond. Tai Chi is a great way to add more movement to your life and improve your health and wellness. Class will be outdoors as weather permits, indoors in event of rain. Registration and payment are required by May 4. (Min. 5; max. 20)

tai chi

  • 6              Saturday
  • Family Learn to Fish
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station
  • 9am to 12pm
  • Free

Families, learn how to fish together! No experience or fishing license is required. All equipment will be provided. Children must be 6 years or older. Registration is required by June 2. (Min. 6; max. 15)

Learn to Fish

  • 14           Sunday
  • Bike the Bend
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 6:30 to 11:30am

Cyclists of all ages and abilities—join in a fun-filled day riding through South Bend and Mishawaka, and along the scenic banks of the river. St. Patrick’s County Park is a major staging area for the event. For more information log onto www.bikethebend.com.

Bike the Bend

Other Park Programs


Nature Munchkins

Parents and grandparents, discover nature with your 3- to 4- year old. Join us on the third Thursday of every month from 9:30 to 11am at St. Patrick’s County Park. The fee is $5 per adult-child pair and $3 for a second child. Advance registration and payment are required. Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend. (Min. 5; max. 10) 

  • April 16 – Reptiles and Amphibians
  • May 21 – Birds
  • June 18 – Fish

Outdoor Adventures Summer Day Camp

Outdoor Adventures is a day camp where kids age five to 14 can discover the wonder of the natural environment. Four camps are offered for different age groups. The camp is held at St. Patrick’s County Park. For registration information call 574/654-3155.

Acrobat Reader Click here for a printable brochure and registration information.


St. Joseph County Parks Online Photo Contest

  • Photos must be taken in one of the St. Joseph County Parks during the time period the contest is running.
  • Photos must be posted to the St. Joseph County Parks Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/sjcparks) In the photo caption, title the photo, tell us the location and include  #SJCParksPhotoContest
  • No more than 3 photo entries per person per contest. Winners are not eligible to win 2 consecutive photo contests.
  • Entries will be posted in an album for voting following the contest closing deadline. “Like” your favorite photo to vote.
  • Be sure to LIKE the St. Joseph County Parks Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sjcparks) so you can see the entries, vote for your favorites and see who the winner is! And so we can contact you if you’ve won!
  • Winner will be notified via Facebook to pick up their prize at one of the County Park offices.
  • St. Joseph County Parks reserves the right to use any submitted photos for park-related brochures, web pages or social/electronic media.
Photo Contest