Starfish Cactus Blooming

starfish cactus flowerThe starfish cactus buds have begun to open.  They are large, unusual flowers that attract flies, so smell good to flies, but not to us.  There are more buds to open so you should have a chance to stop by the Conservatory at Miller Nature Preserve in Avon to see them.  This plant is native to South Africa.

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DSC03530One of our communities is celebrating a Bicentennial this year.  Can you tell which one the plants spell out?  The display at Miller Nature Preserve is celebrating this event by historic pictures and trivia of the area.   The Conservatory is open 10am-6pm daily with a $2 admission fee.

Happy 200 Avon!

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Fall Beauty in the Garden

Schoepfle still has plenty of color with cannas, autumn crocus, sedum, roses and more. There is some color in the dogwoods as well as a few maples. Trams run through the month of October Thursday mornings 10am -1 pm and Sundays 1 -4 pm to give everyone a chance to see the splendor of the seasons changing.

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jack-o-lanternCome haunt with us during the upcoming 2014 HALLOWEEN FAIR: Fridays & Saturdays, October 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 & November 1, 5-10 pm at Carlisle Visitor Center!  For another successful year of spooks and startles, your voluntary assistance in the following capacities is gravely needed and much appreciated!

6 general options

Inside the Visitor Center; 3:30-10 pm

  • Food preparation volunteers
  • Costumes & Door monitors

Along the Fairgrounds; 5-10 pm

  • Interactive Games & Activities Attendants
  • Operations Assistance: hand stampers, food runners, pumpkin lighters, etc.

On the Spooky Trail; 7-10 pm

  • Behind the scenes Props Operators
  • Highly active Costumed Ghouls

To participate as a Halloween Fair event volunteer, you must be a member of Friends of Metro Parks in Lorain County, Inc. Temporary Memberships are available ($1 per person), valid Friday & Saturday nights of the event. All temporary and year-round volunteers must abide by rules and regulations established by Friends of Metro Parks and the Lorain County Metro Parks. Youths under 18 years of age must be supervised by a participating parent or guardian at all times.

To sign up NOW for your preferred 2014 Halloween Fair dates and volunteer activities, contact HF Volunteer Coordinator Donna Wolf at (440)324-7674 or !

Visit our Halloween Fair webpage for  FAQ’s and more information!

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Starfish in the Desert!

starfish cactus bud resizedThis starfish cactus is getting ready to bloom in the arid room at the Miller Nature Preserve. The plant doesn’t look much like a starfish now – but wait until it blooms.  These blooms have another trick that is not quite as pretty.  The flowers are pollinated by flies – so to attract the flies, they stink!  The other name for the flower is “carrion flower”.  There are lots of buds on the plant, so even though each flower only lasts a few days, you will have several chances to see the bloom.  This plant is native to South Africa.

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Raptors 101

Teachers, what better way to start off the school year than to surprise your students with the special opportunity, for them as a class, to adopt one of our raptors! Participating in our Adopt-A-Raptor program is a fun & engaging way for you and your students to learn about raptors and what goes into the care of our nine Raptor Center residents, as well as to experience what it feels like to contribute to the welfare of our raptors.

The Carlisle Visitor Center Naturalists also teach a variety of onsite raptor-related public programs throughout the year (advertised in our Arrowhead program guide and on our website). In addition, as part of our Traveling Nature Encounters “requested” programs, we can come to your school to teach our ‘Predators of the Sky’ program that can supplement your students’ learning about these amazing birds. Please refer to our Group Educational Opportunities brochure on our website for more information on how to schedule Traveling Nature Encounters as well as other requested programs. Be sure to call well in advance of your potential program date, as these opportunities fill up quickly!  ~CVC Naturalist, Miss Jenn


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Enjoy Fall With Us!

As summer winds down and you begin creating your ‘Fun Fall Activities To Do’ list, be sure to add our Horse-drawn Fall Hay Wagon Rides and Corn Maze to it, both of which begin this weekend! Take along our “new this year” Scavenger Hunt on your hay wagon ride, and see which & how many of the items you can spot along the beautiful, 30 minute-long route. Test your navigation skills in our six-acre corn maze as you answer nature trivia along the way. Both activities are located at Carlisle Reservation’s Equestrian Center (13630 Diagonal Road, LaGrange), are $1 each (children 3 and under are free), and will be held Saturdays & Sundays (September 20th-October 26th: Noon-3:30pm). The concession stand(where you purchase tickets) will also be selling refreshments. Both of Fall Haywagon Rides and Corn Maze 2012 photos 017these outdoor activities are weather dependent, therefore please call ahead (440-458-5121) the day of program in case of inclement weather or high wind advisories.


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