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

March | April | May | June

For program information or reservations call 574/654-3155.


March


  • 7              Saturday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Treats from Trees
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 9:30 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $10/person

Discover how we make sweet syrup from maple trees! Tap a tree, visit the sugar house to see syrup cooking, and enjoy a mid-morning treat made from pure maple syrup. You will also take home a half-pint of maple syrup! Registration and payment are required by March 2. (Min. 8; max. 30)


  • 7              Saturday
  • Webelos: A Sweet Way to Earn Forester!
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 2 to 4pm
  • Fee: $3/scout

Come to the Sugar Bush to complete all requirements necessary to earn your Forester Badge! Tap a tree and visit the Sugar House to see how we make pure, sweet maple syrup. Registration is required by March 2. (Min. 5; max. 24)


  • 13           Friday
  • Maple Syrup by Moonlight
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 7pm
  • Fee: $3.50/person

Take a guided twilight stroll through the sugar bush, learn how to tap a tree by lantern light and observe maple syrup being made. Then enjoy a hot beverage and dessert made from pure maple syrup! Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 10; max. 50)


  • 14                Saturday
  • Save that Shirt
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/person

Give an old shirt a new life, with just a pair of scissors. We’ll “up-cycle” old t-shirts into tote bags, scarves, and accessories. No sewing necessary! Please bring sharp scissors that will cut fabric if you can. Shirts will be provided or bring your own. Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 4; max. 10)


  • 14           Saturday
  • Inviting Bluebirds to your Backyard
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 2pm
  • Fee: $3/person

Are you interested in setting up a bluebird house or trail on your property? Spend an afternoon with John Harville, Berrien/Cass/ Van Buren County Coordinator of the Michigan Bluebird Society. Learn about bluebird behavior and bluebird house design, plus how to handle issues with house sparrows and other predators of bluebirds. Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 10; max. 30)


  • 21 & 22     Saturday & Sunday
  • Sugar Camp Days
  • Bendix Woods County Park
  • 8:30am to 3pmFee: $7/vehicle

Join us in celebration as the end of winter nears! Watch sap cook into syrup, enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast (a New
Carlisle Lion’s Club fundraiser), tour the Sugar Bush, purchase home-made baked goods made with pure maple syrup, enjoy family music and much more! Stay the day!

Sugar Camp Days

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

Welcome, home school families! Find out what makes a forest habitat unique. Assemble a habitat pizza, go on a forest bingo hike and play habitat match-up. Registration is required by March 24.


  • 29          Sunday
  • NIMBA-MBA Swap Meet
  • St. Patrick's County Park: Red Barn
  • 11:30 am to 2:30 pm

This annual event is sponsored by the Michiana Bicycle Association (MBA) and the Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association (NIMBA). There is no charge for buyers or sellers. Anyone is welcome to bring bicycle related items to sell. Sellers should arrive between 10:45 and 11:15 to setup. First-come first-served for table space.

Red Barn

April


  • 4              Saturday
  • Great Golden Egg Hunt
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek, Bendix Woods, and St. Patrick’s County Parks and Spicer Lake Nature Preserve
  • 10am to 7pm
  • Gate fee in effect

Enjoy the outdoors and search for the “Great Golden Egg.” Park staff will hide ONE egg alongside a trail at each county park. Each egg can be redeemed for a summer fun pack of canoe, disc golf, and gate entry coupons.


  • 8              Wednesday
  • Free Spring Break Fun!
  • Bendix Woods County Park
  • 10am to 4:30pm
  • Free!

Play on the playground, walk on a wooded trail or share a picnic in the sunshine. At the nature center, discover the exhibits and explore our collection of animal pelts, skulls, wings, feet and antlers with a park interpreter!


  • 8, 15, 22, 29; May 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)

Walking Club

  • 11           Saturday
  • Lids, Lids, Lids!
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11am
  • Free
  • Ages 5 and up, with adult help

Join us to make fun decorations, or anything you can imagine, out of plastic lids! Learn about recycling from a special guest from the St. Joseph County Solid Waste Management District. All materials provided. Registration is required by April 6th. (Min. 4; max. 12)

Lids

  • 11           Saturday
  • Hummingbirds and Orioles
  • Wild Birds Unlimited, Granger
  • 12 to 1pm
  • Free

Hummingbirds and Orioles delight everyone! Learn about these birds and how to enjoy them in your yard and feeding station.


  • 15, 16, 17              Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • Studebaker Trees Volunteer Plant-a-Sapling Day
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Nature Center
  • 10am to 2:30pm

Be a part of history! Volunteers are needed to assist with planting, watering and mulching the saplings that will replace the trees lost over time in the historic Studebaker Tree sign. Please call ahead to let us know you are coming!

Tree Planting

  • 18           Saturday
  • Audubon Rummage Sale
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 8am to 1pm
  • Gate fee in effect after 10am

Shop through a barn full of treasures! This annual event is organized by the South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society. Drop off your donated items at the Red Barn on Wed., April 15, from 3-5pm; and on Thurs. & Fri. April 16 & 17 from noon to 5:30pm. For more information call 574/243-8739.


  • 18           Saturday
  • Fun First Fishing
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 10am to noon
  • Ages 8 & up, 13 and under accompanied by adult

In honor of Indiana’s free fishing weekend, attend this FREE beginners’ fishing lesson. We supply the equipment. Topics include equipment basics, knot tying, fish identification, and casting techniques followed by on-the-pond fishing. Receive an aquatic poster, fish ID pocket guide and a GoFishIN coloring book! Registration is required by April 15. (Min. 5; max. 10)


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

Welcome, home school families! What kind of animals live in a field habitat? Learn to use binoculars to study a field, and
collect insects with sweep nets to get a close look at some field creatures. Registration is required by April 21.


  • 25           Saturday
  • Pottery Made Easy
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station Moat Room
  • 9am to noon
  • Fee: $12/person

Join park staff and a local pottery craftsperson to learn various hand building techniques, including the “slump” method of pottery making using self-hardening clay that does not require firing in a kiln. All materials will be provided. Registration and payment are required by April 22. (Min. 6; max. 14)


  • 25           Saturday
  • Invasive Species Work Day and Seminar
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9am to noon

Join the North West IN Cooperative and park staff for a morning of invasive plant identification and removal. Dress for outdoor work and bring loppers. Registration is required by April 20. (Min. 5; max. 25)


  • 25           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, enjoy a morning of outdoor science fun with hands-on, feet-stomping learning experiments led by women scientists from the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. Join Drs. Jen Tank, Micha Kilburn and Cassie Majetic as they share their passion for science. Lunch is included. Sponsored in part by The University of Notre Dame. Registration and payment are required by April 17. Please use form below. (Min. 15; max. 45)

Acrobat Reader GALS Registration Form

GALS

  • 26           Sunday
  • NIMBA: Time Trial
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Van Paris Shelter

The Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association is hosting a time trial at Bendix Woods’ Mountain Biking Trail! All proceeds go toward building more trails. For more information, including times and fees, go to www.nimba-bike.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.