Upcoming Events

Knee High to Nature: Beavers
Two Sessions:
August 18, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
FREE

Bring your elementary age child out to learn about North America's largest rodent, the beaver.  Did you know, beavers are powerful swimmers that can swim underwater for up to 15 minutes?  In the late 1800s, beavers nearly went extinct in the United States and Canada due to decades of fur trapping but their population numbers are huge now.  Today, there are an estimated 15 million beavers in North American waterways.
Come learn about these fascinating creatures!

Crows & Ravens Class
September 8, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
FREE

Both black birds live at Crooked Creek but how do you tell them apart? Join birder and blogger Kate St. John for an informative class on crows and ravens. Learn about each species' unique physical appearance, how their calls differ, and their distinctive behavioral traits. We'll look for both species during class.

This class is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Armstrong Nature Book Club: Deeply Rooted
September 13, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
No cost to participate

The book being discussed during this meeting is The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs by Peter Wohlleben.

Armstrong Nature Book Club: Deeply Rooted will meet the second Tuesday of each month at the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek. Open to all, this book club focuses on nature-themed books and is particularly suited for those with an avid interest and curiosity in nature-related topics, human interactions with nature, and how these concepts can personally relate to each individual reader. The book club will be facilitated by a member of the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program. Participants are limited to the first 20 registrants. We hope to see you there!

REGISTER FOR THE SEPTEMBER 13TH BOOK CLUB MEETING BY CLICKING HERE.

Click here to view the flyer - Armstrong Nature Book Club.

Past Events

Nature Writing Workshop
August 6, 2022
10am to 12pm
$8/person

Do you love nature and desire to develop a deeper connection with the natural world? You already have the tools you need inside of you, and nature writing can be the key to unlocking them. Join author and Pennsylvania Master Naturalist trainee Sandra Stanko for a nature writing workshop where you will learn to use your senses and a variety of journaling techniques to observe, record, and personally write about and sketch trees, birds, landforms, and other aspects of nature. A specially designed Armstrong County Nature Journal to use for the workshop and take home will be provided. The workshop is intended for ages 13 and up. No prior writing or drawing experience is required. The workshop will take place rain or shine and is limited to the first 15 registrants.
REGISTRATION FOR THE NATURE WRITING WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.  THE WORKSHOP IS FULL.

Family Fishing Program
August 3, 2022
6pm to 9pm
FREE

The Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek and PA Fish & Boat Commission are partnering to provide a Family Fishing Program. This is a great opportunity to discover just how much fun fishing can be when you do it together at a Family Fishing Program. Participants will learn basic fishing skills like knot tying, casting, baiting the hook, and taking a fish off the hook. You and your family will have the opportunity to fish - no fishing license required. All equipment is provided.
REGISTRATION FOR THE FAMILY FISHING PROGRAM IS CLOSED.  THE PROGRAM IS FULL.

Make your own Air Plant Pod Class
July 30, 2022
Two Sessions:
10am and 1pm
$25 per person

The Traveling Greenhouse is making a stop at the ODC. So, grab a friend and join us for an Air Plant Pod class. You will receive the materials and instruction to build your very own macrame air plant pod! Your class fee also includes an air plant, care instructions and a misting bottle. The instructor will provide air plant care tips that are sure to help turn any thumb green!
Two class times to choose from, 10am and 1pm. $25/person.

Story Night
July 14, 2022 at 7pm
Free Program

The Outdoor Discovery Center and Ford City Library are teaming up for Story Night to be held at the Crooked Creek Outflow Area. We'll be reading Steve, Terror of the Seas by Megan Brewis and doing fun activities.  Ages 3 and up are welcome.

Registration for this free event is required.  Register at https://forms.office.com/r/jMgB6n3N49

Click here to view the flyer - Story Night

Mother Daughter* Forest Bathing Workshop - Cancelled Due to Weather
July 5, 2022 - 6:00 p.m.

$25.00/pair, $8.00 for each additional guest

Learn the art of "forest bathing," just another way to say immersing yourself in the forest atmosphere. The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required. This is an opportunity for mom and daughter(s) to slow down, turn off their devices, and give themselves the best chance of relaxing, being mindful, and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience. Give it a try!

There will be approximately 1 mile of easy to moderate walking involved. Class size will be limited.

*GRANDMOTHERS, GRANDDAUGHTERS, AUNTS, NIECES & FRIENDS ARE ALL WELCOME!

Click here to view the flyer - Mother Daughter Forest Bathing Workshop

Discovery Youth Camp
June 27 to July 1, 2022
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS CAMP IS FULL.

Your 8-12 year old is invited to join us for our Discovery Camp this summer.  This is a full-day (9am-4pm) camp, running from Monday, June 27 – Friday, July 1, 2022.  Camp will include a variety of nature & environmental related games, crafts, experiments, and outdoor exploration!  Each day will have a different theme; such as tremendous trees, backyard birds, weather, “Earth Day Every Day”, and air & water quality.

Camp activities will be held both inside and outside the Outdoor Discovery Center and make use of the Crooked Creek Recreation Area as well.

We will supply a morning and afternoon snack.  Campers will supply their own bag lunch each day.

Each camper will receive a t-shirt and water bottle.

Camp cost: $180/camper.  A 15% discount given when registering a sibling(s) at the same time. This sibling discount applies to the second, third, etc. sibling in either the Young Explorers or Discovery camps.

Registration is payable by check to the Armstrong Center for Community Learning.  Registration must be received by June 20th to secure your child’s spot in the Discovery Camp.

Refund policy: Registration fees can only be refunded if withdrawals are received prior to the registration deadline.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS CAMP IS FULL

Guided Mushroom Walk 
June 23, 2022
5:00 p.m.
$30/person

Join Barbora Batokova, aka @fungiwoman, at the Outdoor Discovery Center for a brief introductory presentation about fungi followed by a guided mushroom walk. You'll learn basic information about fungi, walk the trails looking for mushrooms, and learn about their ecology, characteristics, and properties. You'll learn about ways to compare similar mushrooms side by side and how to differentiate between them.

Click here to view the flyer - Guided Mushroom Walk

Meet-n-Greet with ABCI Beekeepers
June 21, 2022 
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
FREE

Come meet the beekeepers of Armstrong, Butler, Indiana, and Clarion counties (ABCI).  Learn more about beekeeping and why bees are so critically important.  There will be an opportunity to buy locally produced honey and activities for kids.

Click here to view the flyer - Meet-n-Greet with ABCI Beekeepers

Save the date:  Awakening to the Wonders of Nature (Study Circle Series)
June 16, 2022 - 6:30 p.m.

Coming in 2022 is a study circle series, presented by Full Circle Discovery, in collaboration with the Outdoor Discovery Center. The series, kicking off this spring, aims to offer an engaging and fun way to open eyes and awaken a wonder for nature in adult learners.

Session 3: Water Ways - June 16, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.

Visit www.full-circle-discovery.com for more information.

Click here to view the flyer - Awakening to the Wonders of Nature.

Young Explorers Summer Youth Camp
June 6 to June 10, 2022
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS CAMP IS FULL

Your 4-7 year old is invited to join us for our Young Explorers Camp this summer.  This is a half-day (9am-12:30pm) camp, running from Monday, June 6 – Friday, June 10, 2022.  Camp will include a variety of nature & environmental related games, crafts, experiments, and outdoor exploration!  Specific activities may include using our senses to explore nature; developing an awareness of the importance of trees and which animals call them home; dissecting owl pellets; discovering how animals spread seeds; and learning about & observing earthworms.

Camp activities will be held both inside and outside the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek.

We will supply a morning snack.  Campers will supply their own bag lunch each day to eat from 12-12:30pm right before they leave camp.

Each camper will receive a t-shirt and water bottle.

Camp cost: $90/camper.  A 15% discount given when registering a sibling(s) at the same time. This sibling discount applies to the second, third, etc. sibling in either the Young Explorers or Discovery camps.

Registration is payable by check to the Armstrong Center for Community Learning.  Registration must be received by May 30th to secure your child’s spot in the Young Explorers Camp.

Refund policy: Registration fees can only be refunded if withdrawals are received prior to the registration deadline.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS CAMP IS FULL!

Knee High to Nature - Awesome Opossums
May 23, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. (FULL - Registration Closed)
FREE

Did you know the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America?  Did you know opossums have an opposable thumb on both their front and hind feet?  Did you know opossums can play dead for hours to evade predators?  Perhaps they get a bad reputation from their somewhat rat-like appearance but did you know opossums are beneficial to our ecosystem? Bring the kids to the ODC to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

Free but registration required.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

Click here to view the flyer for Knee High to Nature - Awesome Opossums.

Leap Into Herpetology Program
April 23, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

FREE (donations are greatly appreciated)

REGISTRATION IS FULL AND NOW CLOSED FOR THE 11AM AND 1PM SESSIONS.

Join Naturalist April Claus as she introduces you to things that creep and slither. This hands-on interactive program introduces you to the reptiles & amphibians of Pennsylvania. Learn how to identify frogs and toads by their call, examine touchable models and learn how to identify the venomous snakes that live in our state. Meet and touch some LIVE snakes, toads, turtles and salamanders that are native to western Pennsylvania. You will be amazed at the important role these animals play in our local ecosystem!

Registration required:

11:00 a.m. – REGISTRATION CLOSED

1:00 p.m. – REGISTRATION CLOSED

Click here to view the flyer - Leap Into Herpetology Program.

Make Your Own Succulent Dish Garden
April 20, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
$30/person

City Grows will provide all the materials and instruction needed to create your very own succulent plants dish garden to take home.  Join us at the ODC for this unique class.  Lite snacks and beverages provided.  Register by credit card by calling City Grows at 412-235-7721.

Registration is closed.

Preschool Story Time
March 30, 2022 at 11:30 a.m.
Free Program

The Outdoor Discovery Center and Ford City Library are teaming up for Preschool Story Time this month. We'll be reading The Sweetest Season by Elissa Kerr, taking a short hike, doing a fun activity or two, and eating a snack.  It's going to be a sweet time!

Registration for this free event is required.

Registration is closed.

Click here to view the flyer - Preschool Story Time.

Knee High to Nature - Signs of Spring
March 19, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. OR 1:00 p.m.
Free Class

Fresh buds bloom, animals awaken and the earth seems to come to life again! Spring is here. Bring your elementary age child out for our signs of Spring class.  We'll match baby animals with their parents; learn why maple trees are tapped in the Spring; do a butterfly life cycle activity; and more.

Registration for this free class is required.

Registration is closed.

Click here to view the flyer.

Dare 2B Tick Aware Webinar
March 16, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
Free Webinar

Learn about PA Tick statistics, tick identification, tick habitat & behavior, Lyme & tick-borne diseases, prevention options, and recognizing early symptoms of disease.

Facilitator:  Andrea Halffill, Certified Dare 2B Tick Aware Facilitator

Registration is closed.

Click here to view the flyer.

Basics of Cross Country Skiing
February 13, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Free Class

The freshly fallen snow is beckoning you to go play outside! You have wondered what it would be like to experience gliding on the snow over a hill and dale on a pair of cross-country skis. You ask yourself, where can I go, what should I wear, who has the right equipment, and will I have fun?

By coming to this free class, you will have many of those questions answered by expert Joe Triebsch! You’ll learn what clothing to wear and about the different styles of Nordic gear and the pros and cons of each.

Information will be provided about where to rent or purchase cross-country gear and great places to go to experience the snow that has been calling you to play outside.

Click here to view the flyer.

Valentine's Winter Forest Hike
February 13, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.
Free Event

Naturalist, Dave Beale, will lead us on a 1 mile long, moderate, hike along the Discovery and Shrub Swamp trails. While hiking, you and your sweetie can search for animal tracks, learn to identify trees and other plants that are resilient in the winter, and maybe even see an eagle at the Crooked Creek spillway.

Warm up afterwards, back at the Outdoor Discovery Center, with a nice cup of hot cocoa or tea! All are welcome.

Click here to view the flyer.

Knee High to Nature Series
Winter Science
February 7, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
Free Class

Snowflakes!  Icicles!  Hibernation!  Your elementary age child will learn about the science behind winter.  Join us for some frosty fun.  Registration for this free event is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

Snowshoeing Basics
January 22, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Free Class

Learn the fundamentals of Snowshoeing!

Tired of wishing to be outside when the snow gets deep but you don’t want to sink-in up to your knees?  Then join us on Saturday, January 22nd to find out about snowshoeing your way through the winter with expert Joseph Triebsch.

This course will help you select the footwear and clothing that will ensure you are prepared for a day of stomping through the snow. You’ll learn about the different styles of snowshoes and the pros/cons of each. Wondering where you can rent, borrow or purchase these snow tamers?  That will be discussed too. Finally, information will be provided about great places to go to experience the same snow that Bigfoot so loves … well, at least our local version of Bigfoot.

All participants need to wear a mask.  Thank you.

This program is free but registration is required:

Click here to view the flyer.

CANCELLED:  Stranger in the Woods: The Movie
January 21, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
Free Event

Families and children of all ages are invited to the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek for a viewing of the movie, “Stranger in the Woods” on Friday, January 21, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.  Based on the New York Times #1 Best Seller children’s book by authors Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick, the movie uses wildlife photography and video to take viewers on a journey with furry and feathered friends as they curiously and amusingly react to a snowman placed in the woods.

Click here to view the flyer.

January 15, 2022 - Knee High to Nature Series - Winter Science:

Snowflakes!  Icicles!  Hibernation!  Your elementary age child will learn about the science behind winter.  Join us for some frosty fun.  Registration for this free event is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

December 21, 2021 - Winter Solstice Event:

Celebrate the beginning of winter with us.  We'll be making lanterns and going on a short winter evening hike.  We will have children's activities and hot cocoa, too!  Registration is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

CANCELLED: December 11, 2021 - Paint Party Fundraiser:

Create a work of art, have fun, and support educational programming at the Outdoor Discovery Center at the same time!  Join us for our Paint Party Fundraiser on Saturday, December 11th.  Registration is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

November 24, 2021 - Thankful for Nature Hike & Craft:

Bring your little one!  The Outdoor Discovery Center will host a Thankful for Nature Hike & Craft on November 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.  There will be a short nature hike on the Discovery Trail and autumn lesson with our program coordinator.  After the hike, come inside the ODC for kids crafts and hot apple cider!  Registration is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

October 25, 2021 - Learn About Bats:

Bats are amazing creatures!  Eating tons of insects nightly, pollinating flowers & spreading seeds that grow new plants.  Your elementary age child will learn more about bats through fun activities & crafts.  The "Learn About Bats" program will be held on October 25, 2021 at 6:00 PM at the Outdoor Discovery Center.  Registration is required.

Click here to view the flyer.

October 8, 2021 - Learn About Bats:

Bats are amazing creatures!  Eating tons of insects nightly, pollinating flowers & spreading seeds that grow new plants.  Your elementary age child will learn more about bats through fun activities & crafts.  The "Learn About Bats" program will be held on October 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the Outdoor Discovery Center.  Registration is required.

Registration is Closed.  Another class will be offered later in the month.  Please check back.

October 3, 2021 - Walk in Penn's Woods:

This year, the ODC will participate in the statewide initiative Walk in Penn's Woods on Sunday, October 3rd.  Since 2017, the Walk in Penn’s Woods partnership has been working to offer Pennsylvanians a statewide day of walks in the woods on the first Sunday in October. These walks provide an excellent opportunity to get out, have fun, and learn about Pennsylvania’s forests, to see forests in new ways, and to understand and appreciate the many values we hold for the woods.

To learn more about the walk happening at the Outdoor Discovery Center in Armstrong County or any of the walks happening across Pennsylvania visit, click here.

August 17, 2021 - Learn About Elk:

In partnership with the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek in Armstrong County will hold a live and interactive "Learn About Elk" program for people of all ages on August 17, 2021 at 7:00 PM. Registration is required.

August 12 - October 28, 2021 - PA Master Naturalist:

Registration is closed.  Click here to view the flyer.  Visit our PA Master Naturalist page for more information!