Lace up for the Couch to 5K

Motivating. Fun. Life-changing. Those are just some of the ways past participants in the "Couch to 5K" training series have described the annual Summit Metro Parks program, now in its third year.

On Feb. 16 the park district will host an information session about the 10-week series, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road). Naturalist -- and runner -- Elizabeth Kresse will describe what series participants can expect and answer questions.

Kresse said 'Couch' participants will meet every Sunday morning beginning March 5 at 9 a.m., for a group run and to discuss different running topics, from stretching and proper form to finding the right running shoe, with experts from Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Second Sole in Akron and more.

Registration is not required for the information session. However, registration is required for the training series. The Mother's Day 5K will be May 14 in Munroe Falls Metro Park, 521 S. River Road in Munroe Falls.

For information about the Mother's Day 5K and the Couch to 5K series, visit or call 330-865-8065.

February features feathered friends

Summit Metro Parks naturalists will host a variety of bird-related programs for all ages next month.

- The Owl Prowl will be Feb. 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Wood Hollow Metro Park in Hudson. Explore Owls with a naturalist. Patience and silence are essential. The program is for ages 6 years and older. No dogs, please. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- Have "Coffee with the Birds" Feb. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center in Twinsburg, 9999 Liberty Road. Join for this peaceful morning discussion at the wildlife viewing area, and find out why it's a favorite of our winged winter residents. Bring a mug. Coffee is provided. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- Stop by Liberty Park Nature Center Feb. 12 from noon to 2 p.m. to make pinecone bird feeders. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- Join for the "Bald Eagle Open House" at the Liberty Park Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve Feb. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m., 1230 Old Mill Road in Aurora. Swing by any time between 1 and 3 p.m. to learn about bald eagles, and hopefully catch a glimpse of one of them. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- "Kinderealm: Owls" will be Feb. 21 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg. Children 3 to 6 years and their adult companions can discover the owls "whooo" are raising young this time of year. This program includes a hike and craft. Make other arrangements for younger children unable to remain in infant seats or strollers. Advance registration is required and begins Jan. 28. For information, call 330-865-8065.


February hikes

Summit Metro Parks offers something for everyone, including the following programs and events.

- Hear nature stories Feb. 1 from 9:30 to 10 a.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg. Young children and their adult companions can enjoy this interactive, nature-inspired story time intended for ages 18 months to 3 years. Advance registration is required. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- "Weekday Walkers" will be Feb. 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park, 5779 Riverview Road in Peninsula. Join a naturalist for a leisurely stroll on Quarry Trail, with stops along the way to discover nature and history. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- Take a snowshoe hike Feb. 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Liberty Park. Meet at the Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road. Get a brief how-to lesson, followed by a moderate snowshoe hike. If there's not enough snow, a hike of the area will still take place.. Advance registration is required and begins Jan. 29.. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- A hike with the dogs will be Feb. 12 from 1 to 2 p.m. at Furnace Run Metro Park in the Brushwood Area, 4955 Townsend Road in Richfield. Follow a naturalist with a furry friend on a leash (8-foot max) for a walk around Rock Creek Trail. For information, call 330-865-8065.

- Hear the "Bear Truth" Feb. 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road in Twinsburg. Learn the truth about our biggest and furriest neighbor, the black bear. Hike to a cave before enjoying hot cocoa (while supplies last) in the nature center. For information, call 330-865-8065.