Greene County parks events

XENIA — Greene County Parks & Trails (GCP&T) will host a variety of upcoming events. For more information or to register for programs, contact the parks at 937-562-6440, email or visit GCP&T headquarters is located at 575 Ledbetter Road.

Project Feeder Watch

Visitors can participate in a research project with GCP&T and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Project Feeder Watch this season 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 5 and Jan. 19 at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Xenia. The naturalist staff and participants will be monitoring types and species of birds staying in Greene County during the winter months. Participants will learn about rare or unusual birds that do not normally overwinter in Ohio, as well as learning more about woodpeckers, finches, cardinals and other feeder birds. Binoculars are recommended but not required.

Maple sugaring volunteer training

Anyone interested in volunteering with GCP&T is invited to participate in a training program to learn how to lead maple sugaring tours, collect maple sap and cook maple syrup during the sugar season 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 14 at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Rd., Beavercreek. Training will include information needed to assist the naturalist with the 2019 maple sugaring season; maple sugar programs will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Training will be indoors/outdoors; participants need to dress for the weather. All current volunteers and anyone interested in joining the team is invited to attend.

Wellness Walkers

All are invited to join GCP&T and the City of Beavercreek for a wellness walk 9:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at Russ Nature Reserve, 2380 Kemp Road, Beavercreek. Walks are on natural surfaces and self-paced to increase heart rates while learning about Greene County parks. A walk is held each week at a different location. A member of the GCP&T staff will lead the walk at Russ Nature Reserve. For more information and to register, contact the City of Beavercreek at 937-427-5514.

Rent a sugar bucket

Residents can rent their very own maple sugar bucket and witness how maple syrup is made within the Sugar Bush at the Narrows Reserve, 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Xenia. Families will learn how to tap a maple tree to collect sap into a sugar bucket. Tours of the sugar camp will be offered to view how much sap has been collected. Sap will then be cooked down and served as part of the annual GCP&T pancake breakfast. Families who rent a sugar bucket will receive four tickets to the breakfast that will include maple syrup, hot pancakes, sausage, milk, coffee, tea and juice. The breakfast is held 8:30- 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2 at Russ Nature Reserve, 2380 Kemp Road, Beavercreek. Cost is $25 per bucket with preregistration required before Tuesday, Jan. 22. To reserve a sugar bucket, contact GCP&T.

Sugar Grove tours

Groups of eight or more can enjoy a free and private tour of the Sugar Grove at the Narrows Reserve, Sperling Lane Entrance, Beavercreek, led by naturalists and park volunteers. Tours can be arranged on weekdays between Tuesday, Jan. 22, to Friday, March 8. The tour program is ideal for school, scout and civic organizations. The tours will highlight how sap is formed and transformed into syrup using both Native American and modern techniques. The program meets school proficiency standards. Samples of warm maple syrup will be offered at the end of the tour, which must completed by 5 p.m. Preregistration is required before Tuesday, Jan. 22. To schedule a private tour or for more information, contact GCP&T.

Beginning beekeeping

Expert beekeeper Bill Starrett will teach participants how to raise bees, about types of hive equipment, products of the hive and even how to set up a hive at the Beginning Beekeeping class series offered 7-8:30 p.m. every Thursday, Jan. 31 through Thursday, March 7 in the Greene County Media Room, 541 Ledbetter Road, Xenia. Cost for the series is $50; class size is limited.

Second year & beyond beekeeping

Participants can learn additional beekeeping skills at the Second Year and Beyond Beekeeping class 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Xenia. The class is for those participants who already have hives or have taken GCP&T’s beginning beekeeping series. Participants can have specific questions answered, as well as gain additional information on maintaining healthier and more productive hives. Honey harvesting techniques will also be discussed. Cost for the program is $40.

Winter Tree Photography Contest

Capturing a unique aspect of a tree will be the goal of those entering the City of Xenia Tree Committee Winter Tree Photography Contest. Photographs of a tree within the city limits of Xenia will be eligible with the winning photograph chosen by a panel of judges. The winning photograph will be featured in the Gazette as well as within the lobby of the City Administration Building, 107 E. Main St., Xenia. Photographers will be challenged to capture unique aspects of a tree, which may include unique bark, structure, leaf or anything that make the tree artistically special.

Digital photographs may be submitted electronically to Michelle Johnson at Entries must be received by April 1, 2019, with Winter Interest Tree Photography Contest in the subject line. Each photo entry must include a photo release form, photographer’s name, daytime telephone number and location of tree within the city limits of Xenia. One photograph per email entry is required but each photographer can submit up to five photographs.

Only amateur photographers are permitted to enter and photographs must be taken between Dec. 21 and March 21, 2019. Photographs will be judged by a panel of photographers based on clarity of photograph, composition of photograph, emotional impact of image and quality of subject. Complete rules and regulations can be found by visiting under the Tree Committee link (search for Tree Committee). For more information, call the City of Xenia at 937-376-7235.