The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Explore Your Toledo Area Metroparks

Posted about 1 year ago by Angela B

Posted in Arts, Crafts and Hobbies, eBooks and Audiobooks, Education, Fiction, Graphic Novels and Poetry, Nonfiction and Outdoors, Sports and Travel | Tagged with Earth Sciences, environment, Forest Animals, Forest Ecology, handicraft, metroparks, naturalists, nature craft, nature poetry, nature study, outdoor activities, outdoor recreation for children, photography and seasons

The Toledo Area Metroparks have so many secrets to discover, like hidden bridges and shelters; charming plants and animals; and a whole host of outdoor adventures including kayaking, archery, climbing, and biking to name a few. In recent years, new playgrounds at Farnsworth, Oak Openings, Pearson, Secor, Swan Creek, and Wildwood are encouraging kids to engage in imaginative outdoor play. All of our area metroparks integrate history, education, and adventure.

Let's Explore Our Parks

Bend View

10040 S River Rd | Waterville, OH 43566

Bend View’s remote shelter house might be over 2 miles from the nearest parking lot, but it's well worth the hike. The view of the river’s bend is absolutely beautiful and the path has little traffic to disturb you.

Bend View Metropark - Waterville, Ohio

Blue Creek

7215 Providence St. | Whitehouse, OH 43571

Discover the technique of bouldering, which is rock climbing without a harness or gear, at Blue Creek. Also, learn about the interesting history of the land as it was a working farm for prisoners.

Blue Creek - Whitehouse, Ohio

Bouldering from Metroparks on Vimeo.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis

Fallen Timbers: 4949 Jerome Road | Maumee, OH 43537

Fort Miamis: 600 Michigan Ave | Maumee, OH 43537

Two of the most historic parks in the area are Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis. Try your luck at finding the legendary Turkey Foot Rock.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis - Maumee, Ohio

Fallen Timbers Battlefield from Metroparks on Vimeo.


8505 S River Road (US 24) | Waterville, OH 43566

This whimsical playground is the perfect place to take the family. Then, if you are feeling adventurous, head over to the kayak concessions to paddle out on the Mighty Maumee.

Farnsworth Metropark - Waterville, Ohio


111 Ottawa Street | Toledo, OH 43604

Toledo’s newest public off leash dog park is right in the middle of Downtown! This innovative park features various channels to help clean runoff water going into Lake Erie to keep it healthy!

Middlegrounds Metropark - Downtown Toledo, Ohio

Middlegrounds from Metroparks on Vimeo.

Oak Openings

4139 Girdham Rd | Swanton, OH 43558

Rent the rustic Caretakers Cottage for a special overnight experience. While at Oak Openings, search for Ohio’s native cactus, the Eastern Prickly Pear. Also, be on the lookout for the Treehouse Village in the future!

Oak Opening Preserve Metropark in Swanton, Ohio
Cactus photo by Jay Sturner


761 Lallendorf Rd  Oregon, OH 43616

Check out the Johlin Cabin to discover life in the Great Black Swamp. Also, explore the many interesting WPA and CCC historic structures around the park.

Pearson Metropark in Oregon, Ohio


13827 S. River Road | Grand Rapids, OH 43522

Located near the old ghost town, Providence offers fascinating insights into local history with the Isaac Ludwig Mill and the authentic canal boat tours. Anglers will also be delighted in the quality and quantity of fish that can be caught at the Providence Dam.

Providence Metropark - Grand Rapids, Ohio


10001 W Central Ave | Berkey, OH 43504

If you love the Metroparks and want to spend eternity there, then Wolfinger Cemetery inside Secor Metropark is the place to be! It is the only active cemetery inside a Toledo Metropark. This park is also home to the National Center for Nature Photography.

Secor Metropark in Berkey, Ohio


1025 W River Rd | Maumee, OH 43537

Side Cut is full of hidden trails, gazebos, canals, fireplaces, and bridges – nearly all a legacy of the WPA. Travel there by way of the Wabash Cannonball Trail.

Side Cut Metropark - Maumee, Ohio
Canal photo by Starley Shelton

Swan Creek

4301 Airport Hwy | Toledo, OH 43615

Who knew cute mammals were living in the middle of the city? Swan Creek is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these guys!

Swan Creek Metropark in Toledo, Ohio
Fox photo by Hank Anderson

Toledo Botanical Garden

In 2006, the Toledo Botanical Garden became a public/private partnership between the Metroparks of the Toledo Area and the Toledo Botanical Garden Board, Inc. in collaboration with the City of Toledo. The garden is extremely unique to Toledo because of the artists' village, the exceptional variety of plants, numerous sculptures, and more.

Toledo Botanical Garden


9918 Geiser Rd | Holland, OH 43528

Where else in Northwest Ohio can you practice archery on either traditional or 3D animal targets, and also fly remote control airplanes? Westwinds is the only place to be for these cool activities.

Westwinds Metropark - Holland, Ohio


5100 W Central Ave | Toledo, OH 43615

Wildwood is Toledo’s favorite place to spend cold winter days, or any day of the year! It is the most popular Metropark, with good reason!

Wildwood Metropark in Toledo, Ohio

Wiregrass Lake

201 N Eber Rd | Holland, OH 43528

Have you ever heard of the Dragonfly Jewel of Ohio? Wiregrass has more varieties of dragonflies than anywhere else in Ohio! You also can camp, boat, fish, or relax at this beautiful lake.

Wiregrass Lake Metropark - Holland, Ohio

Let the library help you and your family explore the wonderful world of nature with the help of a few good books ...

Nature Picture Books for Children

Tree : a peek-through picture book illustrated by Britta TeckentrupTree : A Peek-Through Picture Book illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

A majestic tree and its forest inhabitants invite young children to follow along through the seasons that are reflected by the tree's leaves and fruit while its animal residents build nests, play in the sunshine, gather food and keep warm on cold nights.
Nature by Alain GreeNature by Alain Greé

Alain Grée’s beautiful illustrations from the 1960s and 70s are known throughout the world. With their naivety of form and bold use of color, their charm is undeniable. Nature features Greé’s stunning vintage illustrations on every page. Aimed at children aged 2 to 5 years, Nature is a beautiful arlin-covered hardback with embossed artwork and jacket. Clear, easy-to-read text is presented alongside the illustrations to teach children about the different flora and fauna they might find in a range of environments, including, amongst others, ‘On the farm’, ‘By the seashore’ and ‘In the forest’.
A celebration of the seasons : goodnight songs / Margaret Wise Brown ; illustrated by twelve award-winning picture book artistsA Celebration of the Seasons : Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

This companion to Goodnight Songs celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature all year long. Previously unpublished poems and songs by Margaret Wise Brown have been set to music, from a little bear singing one morning in May to a soft snowfall, mysterious, deep, and glowing. Includes CD with songs composed and sung by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt.
Hank's big day : the story of a bug / by Evan Kuhlman ; illustrated by Chuck GroeninkHank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman ; illustrated by Chuck Groenink

Hank is a pill bug whose daily routine involves nibbling a dead leaf, climbing up a long stick, avoiding a skateboarder, and playing pretend with his best friend, a human girl named Amelia.
The great big green / Peggy Gifford ; illustrated by Lisa DesiminiThe Great Big Green by Peggy Gifford ; illustrated by Lisa Desimini

The Great Big Green is both a lyrical ode to the earth and a riddle for children to solve, combined in an irresistible read-aloud. What is the Thing exactly? It is green—great and gorgeous green, real mean green, dark and dangerous green; and it’s got green things—broccoli and praying mantises, watermelons and waves of mountains. It’s green, green, green all over . . . except where it’s blue. Can you guess? It is, of course, our Earth.

Non-Fiction Nature Books and eBooks for Kids

Nature is Fun! All About Nature for Kids by Baby Professor (eBook)Nature Is Fun! All About Nature for Kids - The Four Elements by Baby Professor

Let's define what the four elements are, shall we? There's the earth, fire, air and water. Let's go ahead and learn more about each of them by opening the pages of this educational book. This book has been created to encourage easy understanding among young children through vibrant images and well-placed texts. So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy today.
Treecology - 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Trees and Forests by Monica Russo, Kevin Byron (eBook)Treecology : 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Trees and Forests by Monica Russo, Kevin Byron

An engaging introduction to the ecology of trees and forests, Treecology contains over 100 beautiful color images of trees, leaves, blooms, forest wildlife, and more. Kids learn about the interwoven lives of plants and animals making up the forest community: the food, nesting sites, and safe roosting and resting places that trees and forests provide to wildlife. This useful book also includes "street trees" commonly seen along city streets and parks, allowing any child to learn about their local tree communities. Through 30 simple and fun activities, young readers learn how to obverse the diversity of leaf shapes, the textures of tree bark, and evidence of forest creatures. The activities promote the development of science, writing, math, arts and crafts, and observation skills. Also included are a glossary and list of teacher topics for classroom use.
In the forest by Shira Evans - National Geographic KidsIn the Forest by Shira Evans

What kinds of interesting critters live amongst the forest trees? Adult and child readers can find out together in this new Level 1 co-reader from National Geographic Kids, full of engaging photos and fun facts.

National Geographic book of nature poetry : more than 200 poems with photographs that float, zoom, and bloom! ; with favorites from Langston Hughes, Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, and more / edited by J. Patrick Lewis, former U.S. Children's Poet LaureateNational Geographic Book of Nature Poetry : More than 200 Poems with Photographs that Float, Zoom and Bloom! With Favorites from Langston Hughes, Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, and More edited by J. Patrick Lewis, former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate

When words in verse are paired with the awesomeness of nature, something magical happens! Beloved former U.S. Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis curates an exuberant poetic celebration of the natural world in this stellar collection of nature poems. From trickling streams to deafening thunderstorms to soaring mountains, discover majestic photography perfectly paired with contemporary (such as Billy Collins), classics (such as Robert Frost), and never-before-published works.

Nature and Outdoor Activity Books and eBooks for Kids

100 Backyard activities that are the dirtiest, coolest, creepy-crawliest : become an expert on bugs, beetles, worms, frogs, snakes, birds, plants and more by Colleen Kessler100 Backyard Activities that are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest : Become an Expert on Bugs, Beetles, Worms, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, Plants and More by Colleen Kessler

Awesome Experiments and Nature Activities You Can Do Without Your Parents.

Can a worm smell different foods? How much weight can a super-strong bess beetle carry? Are crickets happier alone or with a friend? Would you touch a spider or keep one for a pet?

100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! will teach you how to find the answers to these questions and more, and have tons of fun while you do it! Forget big-city museums, boring books and science games on your computer or tablet—with this book your backyard is your new museum, and grown-ups are only your assistants. You’ll become an expert on bugs, reptiles, birds and plants by getting to know them up close and personal. How cool is that?

Colleen Kessler is a teacher and mom whose mission is to share unique and effective ways to ignite a passion in kids for hands-on learning, experimentation, science and creativity. This book does all of that and more—you’ll have fun catching bugs, and your parents will love that you’re gaining important critical-thinking skills and knowledge about science that will help you do well in school.

There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered . . . take this book with you, go exploring and have a blast spending hours outside.
Celebrate Nature! Activities for Every Season by Angela Schmidt Fishbaugh (eBook)Celebrate Nature! Activities for Every Season by Angela Schmidt Fishbaugh

Make nature an integral part of the classroom! With rising childhood obesity rates and children's heavy use of electronics, the need for quality time in nature is greater than ever. Put away gadgets, turn off screens, and discover all that the natural world has to offer. Celebrate Nature! is filled with hands-on activities to revive children's connections with nature. Each seasonal section, autumn, winter, spring, and summer; introduces seven themes with countless ways to integrate nature into the classroom. Chapters encourage reflection of your own memories of the seasons and provide activities that address science and discovery, math, blocks and building, language arts, reading, writing, dramatic play, art, and music. Also included are sample letters and suggested at-home activities to support family participation in this important learning.
Outdoor crafts : lots of fun things to make and do outside - DK PublishingOutdoor Crafts : Lots of Fun Things to Make and Do Outside by DK Publishing

A collection of fun, beautiful projects that children can make and do outside, Outdoor Crafts incorporates natural materials that children can find in their backyard, or that they've grown themselves in a garden or pot.

The book is divided into three sections — Make It, Cook It, and Create It. In Make It, children can create labels for the garden, decorate flower pots, and make a scarecrow. In Cook It, children can get recipes for muffins, blueberry cheesecake, lemon ices and more using the crops from their garden. And finally in Create It, readers can learn to make a path in their garden, make paper from corn and more. In Outdoor Crafts the projects are complete with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photography so that kids of all ages can take part and create wonderful crafts they'll be proud to display.
A Little bit of dirt : 55+ science and art activities to reconnect children with nature / Asia Citro, MEd, author of 150+ screen-free activities for kidsA Little Bit of Dirt : 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature by Asia Citro, MEd

Provides over fifty activities to engage children with nature, including creating an earthworm habitat, hunting for frogs, playing mystery games, and building a bird feeder.

Capture the wonderful world of nature on film with the help of these great library resources ...

Photography Books and eBooks

Creative Nature Photography - Essential Tips and Tricks by Bill Coster (eBook) The Joy Of Nature Photography - 101 Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Photos by Steve Price (eBook) Advancing Your Photography - a Handbook for Creating Photos You'll Love by Marc Silber (eBook) Boyd Norton's Outdoor Digital Photography Handbook by Boyd Norton (eBook)
Digital SLR photography all-in-one / by Robert Correll The complete guide to macro and close-up photography / Cyrill Harnischmacher ; translator: David Schlesinger David Busch's point-and-shoot compact field guide / David Busch, Dan Simon HDR photography : from snapshots to great shots / Tim Cooper

All photos courtesy of Metroparks Toledo unless otherwise noted.

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