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Celebrate the first signs of spring at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

With daylight savings time and the official start of spring just around the corner, it’s time to head outdoors and watch nature awaken from its winter slumber. Hike the trails to watch as birds fly back home, learn to identify maple trees as maple syrup season gets under way and explore spring constellations in the nighttime sky.

Make plans to attend Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s signature spring event, the Great Marshmallow Drop, on March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park. More than 15,000 marshmallows will drop from a helicopter to a field below where children, divided into age groups, will collect a marshmallow to exchange for a prize. Other upcoming events include:

March 4
  • Nest Box Monitoring Training is 1-3 p.m. March 4 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Oakland County Parks and Recreation manages 167 nest boxes at seven parks for Eastern Bluebirds and other native bird species. Nest boxes are monitored by trained volunteers through Oakland County Parks and Recreation's Citizen Science Program. This training session will provide information about the birds, monitoring techniques and other volunteer requirements. Volunteers are asked to check assigned nest boxes at least weekly March through August. Nest data is tracked in NestWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916.
March 8
  • Join in the fun of Pop In & Play from 6-9 p.m. March 8 at Springfield Oaks County Park, 12450 Andersonville Road, Davisburg. Meet i the Grand Hall Room for an evening of jumbo-sized games and crafts. This free, family-friendly game night will feature larger than life favorites like Jumbo Jenga, Colossal Connect Four, Towering Tic Tac Toe and Significantly-sized Scrabble. Light carnival snacks will be provided; pizza available for purchase. Some games require socks and closed-toe shoes. Details: OaklandCountyParks.com.
March 9
  • Gather up a group of friends and head out to Glow on the Road. This free, indoor cosmic event is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Enjoy a variety of activities, including indoor cosmic putt-putt, glow-in-the-dark face painting and music. Wearing neon clothing is encouraged. No pre-registration is necessary. Details: NawrockiM@oakgov,com, 248-858-5267 or OakladCountyParks.com.
March 10
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 10 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 10. Presentations will be given by Chef Jeff Rose from C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill ad Michael Metevia from Slows Bar-B-Q. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 1-2:30 p.m. March 10 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.
  • Maple Magic is 2-4 p.m. March 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Learn to identify maple trees, take a hike to tap a tree and taste the sap. Learn the tools, tips and methods needed to make your own batch of maple syrup at home. Taste sweet maple treats and take home maple-based recipes. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 16
  • A St. Patrick’s Day Social will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 16 at Oak Park Parks ad Recreation: 14300 Oak Park Blvd. in Oak Park. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and pizza. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 8. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Astro Evening is 8-10 p.m. March 16 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Locate late winter constellations inside StarLab, a portable planetarium. Gaze at deep sky wonders through telescopes provided by the Oakland Astronomy Club (weather permitting). A star-studded craft and snack are included. This program is suitable for school-aged children and adults and does fulfill some astronomy merit requirements for scouts. Cost is $4/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

March 17
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 17 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Wolf Cub Scouts: Paws on the Path is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 17 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. March 17. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Flowers: From Seed to Floral.” Learn how to create vibrant colors throughout your home and garden with flowers. The educational series will be held the third Saturday of the month through April. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • X Marks the Spot is 2-3:30 p.m. March 17 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Find leprechauns at the nature center while enjoying an afternoon of trickery and treasure hunting as participants explore the activity of letterboxing. Program includes a snack, craft and outdoor excursion. Sport St. Patty’s Day green if you wish. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 20
  • Swing Into Spring will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 20 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and dinner. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 13. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

March 24
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 24 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 24. The presenting chefs will be Laura Romito from High 5 Salts with Benefits and Chef Kelli Lewton from Pure Food 2 U. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 30
  • There will be marshmallow fun for everyone during the Great Marshmallow Drop beginning at 10 a.m. March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27705 Greenfield Road, Southfield. During this free event, 15,000 marshmallows will be dropped from a helicopter to be turned in for a prize. Children only need one marshmallow to exchange for a prize. There will be three age groups: 4 years and younger and individuals with disabilities; children ages 5-7; and children ages 8-12. The helicopter will fly over three times, once for each age group. Details: 248-424-7081 or OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 31
  • Webelos: Walkabout is set from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-4:30 p.m. March 31 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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