Friends of Hudson Parks summer activities in high gear

Courtesy of Friends of Hudson Parks
Alyssa Dennis teaches a pollinator class in 2019.

Just in time for the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, Friends of Hudson Parks’ activities are moving into high gear. Children and adults alike can find plenty to do while enjoying Hudson’s parks, including Geocaching Adventure, Playground Palooza, summer education programs, kayak and paddle board classes, and the Story Walks at Veterans Way Park and Bicentennial Woods.

Playground Palooza

A favorite for the age 2 through 12 crowd is Playground Palooza, now in its sixth year. The event runs from June 1 to Aug.31. This year, the first 125 participants (ages 2 through 12) who visit seven Hudson park playgrounds, the splash pad at Veterans Way and the Hudson Springs butterfly garden will receive a free bouncy ball. The playgrounds included in the contest are located at Barlow Farm, Cascade, Colony, Hudson Springs, Middleton, Oak Grove and Veterans Way Parks.

No pre-registration is required. Download the event PASSPORT from the Friends website at http://www.friendsofhudsonparks.org/. The PASSPORT includes a list of playground locations and instructions. Players will complete their PASSPORT by finding each playground’s symbol post and “rubbing” the playground symbol into the PASSPORT with a crayon or pencil. Playground Palooza is co-sponsored by Acme Fresh Market, Western Reserve Racing, and Hudson Parks.

Summer Education Program

The Friends’ Summer Education Program features outdoor nature classes that seem more like fun than learning. These classes are so popular that many are already filling up. The curriculum is intended for children from ages 4 through 12, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Teacher and Friends board member Alyssa Dennis designs and leads the classes which last about 60 minutes.

Upcoming classes will explore natural topics such as the Salamanders, Animal Tracks and Scat, Insects, Owls, Bats and the Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle. Preregistration is required for these free classes, and class size is limited to 15 children. The Summer Education Program runs from June 19 through Sept. 11. To see a complete schedule and descriptions of the classes, go to the Friends website at http://www.friendsofhudsonparks.org/ and select 2021 Summer Program Registration from the menu at the top.

Story Walks

The Story Walks located at Veterans Way Park and Bicentennial Woods have recently been updated. The two stories featured are: Bee, A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup and The Happy Tree and the Bee by C.E. King. The Story Walk program is jointly sponsored by Hudson Community Education & Recreation (HCER) and Friends of Hudson Parks (FOHP) in cooperation with the Hudson Parks Department.

The Friends of Hudson Parks organization actively supports the mission of the Hudson Parks through volunteerism, advocacy, promotion and fund raising. We are guided by our shared values — conservation, environmental sustainability, education, community engagement, recreation, health and wellness — to serve, preserve and enhance the Hudson community through a vibrant park system.