Nov 11, 2012

Ohio Parks and Recreation Assoc. recognizes Darke County Park District

DARKE COUNTY--Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) has announced its 2012 Annual Awards of Excellence winners and the Darke County Park District received third place in the Facility category for projects with a budget up to 2.5 million dollars. The awards are judged in a two-tiered process, which includes a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio, as well as, the association’s Board of Directors.

With a decidedly smaller budget, the Darke County Parks was able to compete with multi-million dollar projects and succeed! The “Live Classroom” in the Nature Center was recently renovated through several local and regional grants. The classroom was completely transformed into an interactive room that can be utilized for educational programs or for self-guided learning for visitors. The room contains a turtle tank that children can climb under and get a different view of the turtles, a completely revamped animal display wall, renovated library, water run-off display and murals painted by the talented, late Susan North.

Incorporated in 1963, the OPRA is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 1300 professionals and citizen board members striving to provide quality parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio's natural resources, positively impacting local economies and health and wellness of its citizens. Ohio has become known as a trendsetter in the nation with parks and recreation often singled out for national test markets and pilot programs.

Be sure to take the time to visit the Darke County Parks Nature Center located at Shawnee Prairie Preserve (4267 State Route 502 West) and view this award-winning project. Admission to the Nature Center is FREE and is open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information on the Darke County Park District, call the Nature Center, 548-0165, or visit www.darkecountyparks.org.

The “Live Classroom” in the Nature Center was recently renovated and completely transformed into an interactive room that can be utilized for educational programs or for self-guided learning for visitors. 

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