The Earth Discovery Center and Ornithology Center will be closed briefly on Tuesday, December 13 so that staff can attend their holiday party. We apologize for any inconvenience - restrooms are available at the park Marina.
The Earth Discovery Center now has Eagle Creek Park sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, and fleece vests for sale:
Vests $25 Dark grey fleece, with an embroidered park logo - M, L, XL
Sweatshirts $20 Light grey with blue stamped park logo - M, L, XL, 2XL
Long-sleeve T-shirts $15 Navy blue with white stamped park logo on front, white lettering on back (see photo above) - M, L, XL, 2XL
Cash, check, and major credit cards accepted.
We are happy to announce that the Ornithology hours have been extended to include Mondays! The Ornithology Center is now open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, Sundays 1pm-5pm. For more information, please call 327-BIRD.
The artwork has all been delivered and next week will be hung in the Exhibit Hall at the Earth Discovery Center with care! Be sure to check out the beautiful paintings and photography and other art media, all celebrating the astonishing beauty and diversity of nature. The Celebration of Nature Art Exhibit begins Saturday, December 2 through Sunday December 11, and is open Monday-Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5, free with park admission.
Long-time park naturalist Andrea Hopper has been promoted to Supervisor of Nature Centers, overseeing operations at the Ornithology Center and Eagle Creek Earth Discovery Center. Congratulations to Andrea and best of luck in her new role - we're extremely lucky to have her! She will continue to be based at the Earth Discovery Center, and can be reached at 327-1197, or email@example.com
The Marina inside Eagle Creek Park has closed for the season. It will reopen for weekends starting April 2012 (weather dependent) and will be open seven days a week after Memorial Day. See you next year!
The Henslow's Sparrow at Eagle Creek Park: Habitat Preferences, Breeding Biology, and Management Recommendations. Prepared by Harrison Jones, Summer Intern at the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center.
Excerpt: "The Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland specialist and Midwest specialty, remains a rare and declining bird throughout its range, both at the national and state level....This study found a small population of Henslow's Sparrows residing within Eagle Creek Park, with successful breeding observed but not quantified. Future management should focus on the Eagle's Crest prairie complex, the exclusive site in which a breeding population is established. The focus of management regimes should be placed on increasing the distance from wooded edge, eradicating invasive species, and implementing a rotational disturbance regime. Future research efforts should concentrate on rate of nest success, site fidelity, and comparison of insect abundance and diversity between prairies."
Click here to download a pdf of the full report (18 pages)
Click here to view photos of Henslow's Sparrow and hear its song at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Website
Starting this fall, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will introduce muskellunge, commonly called muskies, to Eagle Creek Reservoir. Muskies are a popular sport fish native to Indiana, and they preferentially feed on gizzard shad, a species that has become overabundant in the reservoir in recent years. Click here to see the full press release from the IDNR. For concerns or questions regarding the stocking of muskellunge or the management of fish populations in the reservoir, please contact Rhett Wisener, IDNR Fisheries Biologist, District 4, 765-342-5527 Ext. 403, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual art exhibit is not until December 3, but if you are a painter, photographer, sculptor, or other type of artist and your work focuses on nature themes, this could be the art show for you! Entry rules and deadlines are now available on the Art Show page (or click here). Entry drop off is November 19-20.
Anne Cecere has actually been at the Ornithology Center for several months, working with the educational birds of prey and teaching school groups and park visitors. Anne has a degree in elementary education and has taught all ages from preschool through junior high. She has long been interested in outdoor education and has taken several DNR classes. She took the Indiana Master Naturalist class at the Earth Discovery Center in 2007, and has been a volunteer hike leader since 2008. She developed an interest in birds during the five summers she spent working at a camp in Brown County and on long walks near her family’s Lake Cordry cabin. She has recently been keeping her eye on a group of red-headed woodpeckers that have taken residence there. Anne is excited about her work at the Ornithology Center and having the chance to share her love of nature with people of all ages.
Jake Brinkman will be based at the Earth Discovery Center, but will also help out at the Ornithology Center one or two days a week. Jake’s background is in Environmental Management and he has done work in land restoration, environmental consulting, and sustainable agriculture. He just recently joined the team at the Earth Discovery Center after being with the Outreach section of Indy Parks Environmental Education division since December 2009. He loves to hike and spend time outdoors, sharpening his Naturalist skills.
We're delighted to welcome these two talented naturalists to the team - stop by and say hello if you get the chance!
Jake feeding the gray treefrogs and toads at the EDC:
The 14th annual Double Eagle Golf Tournament supporting the Eagle Creek Park Foundation will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2011. For more information on this event, or for other great ways to help support Eagle Creek Park, please visit the Eagle Creek Park Foundation webpage: http://eaglecreekpark.org/foundation/foundation_golf.htm
Now there's a way to get an even closer look at the gorgeous view of the reservoir from the Ornithology Center! Three heavy duty spotting scopes have been installed - two on the wooden deck just outside the building and one in the viewing room inside - allowing visitors to scan for double-crested cormorants sitting on the white rock, great-blue herons, great egrets, migrating ducks and grebes and geese and turtles basking on the islands and all the other amazing wildlife that likes to hang out in the waterfowl sanctuary. Spotting scopes were purchased with donations to the Bud Starling memorial fund. Be sure to stop by the park and check them out!
Full disclosure, we are not actually expecting to see very many meteors this year, due to the full moon, but we'll give it a shot anyway! The soccer fields at the Eagle's Crest rental facility on the west side of Eagle Creek Reservoir will be open from 10pm-12am for folks to lie back and do a little star gazing, and hopefully at least a few of the brighter meteors will make an appearance. For more information and updates on any cancellations due to weather, visit the Perseid Meteor Shower page.
Due to algae levels in the reservoir, the swimming beach has been closed for the 2011 season.
People are often told to "plant a tree" to help the environment, but trees don't always thrive without proper care. This Sunday Youth Tree Team Leaders with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful are offering a FREE program on tree care at the Earth Discovery Center at 1:30pm. Free with park admission, no registration required. Learn how to properly mulch, prune, and water trees as well as what the best trees are to plant in Indiana and tips for tree identification.
The Earth Discovery Center and Ornithology Center will be opening at 11am on Saturday, June 23, due to the Sprint Triathlon taking place in the park. Eagle Creek Park will be open during the event, but please be aware that travel through the park may be very slow, and access to some areas restricted. If you have tickets to the Saturday "Justin Roberts" Concert, we recommend arriving after 9:30am by the 71st St. Gate to the park (located just off the 71st St. exit of I-65). The start of the concert will be delayed until 10:15am.
Eagle Creek Park in partnership with the Indianapolis Rowing Center will host the 2011 U.S. Rowing Club National Championships July 13-17. The five-day regatta will feature more than 1,500 athletes competing for national titles at the junior, intermediate and senior levels in 70 events.
Due to the size of this event, the Eagle Creek Park Beach and Marina will be closed for public use Wednesday, July 13, through Sunday, July 17. Edit: Beach & Marina will be closed Tuesday, July 12 as well. Spectators are encouraged to visit the beach and marina to view the races. Eagle Creek Park’s concessions, grounds and other facilities, including the 42nd street boat ramp, will remain open and available to the public during these dates. For more information, please call Eagle Creek Park Senior Manager Carrie Kasnicka at (317) 327-7148.
The Indianapolis Rowing Center is a non-profit organization located in Eagle Creek Park that introduces the sport of rowing to youth and adults and provides development opportunities. The Eagle Creek Park Reservoir has hosted some of the most prestigious regattas held in the United States. In addition to hosting numerous U.S. Rowing National Championship regattas and several NCAA championship competitions, Eagle Creek hosted the rowing events for the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1994 World Rowing Championships, the only rowing world championships ever held on U.S. soil.
U.S. Rowing is a nonprofit, membership organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. With more than 16,000 individuals and 1,100 organizations, U. S. Rowing serves and promotes the sport on all levels of competition.
To learn about the Indianapolis Rowing Center, visit www.indyrowing.org.
The Earth Discovery Center and the Ornithology Center will be open Monday, July 4th from 1pm-5pm. Eagle Creek Park will be open from dawn-dusk.
You may have noticed some unusual structures in the park in fields at the Earth Discovery Center, Picnic Area 5, and the Marina. They look like chimneys, because that's essentially what they are! Without the fire-building part, of course. They are bird houses for Chimney Swifts - small, native, insect-eating birds.
Before humans built houses with chimneys for them to nest in, they probably nested in caves and hollow trees. Now their populations are declining, but the Amos Butler Audubon Society and several other partners have received a grant to build nesting towers in several locations to try to reverse this trend, as well as educating the public and IPS students about chimney swifts and giving them hands-on conservation experience. To find out more, check out "Wings Over Indy" on the Amos Butler Audubon Society Website: http://www.amosbutleraudubon.org/general/wingsoverindy
On Friday, the red-tailed hawk that's been hanging around the Earth Discovery Center this spring and summer was seen perched on the tower - hopefully this won't discourage the swifts from nesting! The daycamp kids got a very nice look at the hawk, however.
The Earth Discovery Center and Ornithology Center will be opening at 11am on Saturday, June 18, due to the Sprint Triathlon taking place in the park. Eagle Creek Park will be open during the event, but please be aware that travel through the park may be very slow, and access to some areas restricted.
Stop by and visit and/or 'like' the Eagle Creek Park Naturalist Facebook Page for postings of pictures and videos of wildlife, nature, and events in the park, and whatever else the naturalist staff might find to share.
Eagle Creek Park Foundation's Free FISHING DERBY takes place on Saturday, June 4, 8am-12am at the Eagle Creek Park Waterfowl Sanctuary (north end of park). Come out for a fund day of fishing at the park, with prizes, contests, food, drinks, demonstrations, and celebrities! Kids ages 4-14 years are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, although a limited number of rods and reels are available to borrow. For more information and to print out registration forms, please visit http://eaglecreekpark.org/foundation/foundation_fishing.htm. Last day to register is Wednesday, June 1.
If you are on spring break and planning on stopping by the park for a visit this week, you might want to avoid the EDC this Friday, as there will be approximately 150 home school students at the building for the Sixth Annual Spring Homeschool Jamboree. You are, of course, welcome to come anyway, but just be aware that the parking lot will be quite full and the exhibit hall and other rooms will be occupied with classes until approximately 3pm. The rest of the park as well as the Ornithology Center will be open for business as usual.
When: May 7, 2011
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST
Where: Earth Discovery Center
Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is an interdisciplinary, water science and education program. Workshops are hands-on and designed to train educators in activities that cover many water related topics. Materials are balanced, non-biased, supplementary and enhance student learning in all subjects and skill areas. Participants will receive the Project WET Curriculum & Activity Guide. Professional Growth Experience Points are available upon completion.
The workshop is FREE, however pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, contact the NREC at email@example.com or 317-562-1338. Please register by April 23.
Traffic into Eagle Creek Park may be restricted on Saturday morning due to the Qdoba DINO Trail Run. The Earth Discovery Center and Ornithology Center will be opening at 11:00am. Eagle Creek Park will be open to regular park visitors, but travel through the park may take longer than usual. Check out the calendar for a listing of runs, triathalons, and other large athletic events at Eagle Creek.
If you stop by the EDC check out the lovely new bookcases in the Resource Room - custom designed and built by talented park volunteer Ned Lewis, and assembled and finished with the help of volunteer John Thieme:
There was even enough leftover lumber to build a guest registry and toy box for the kid's area! The stuffed Turkey Vulture looks very happy in her new home:
Many thanks to Ned and John for donating their time and talents!
Are you just a little bit crazy? This might be the event for you! Take a dip into the near-frozen waters of Eagle Creek Reservoir for a good cause - to benefit the Special Olympics of Indiana. For more information visit www.soindiana.org.
The 20th Annual Woodcarver, Woodturner, and Woodburner Exhibition and Sale will take place Saturday and Sunday, February 12 & 13, 9am-5pm at the Earth Discovery Center. Artists will be on hand during the show to demonstrate how they create their various works and talk with visitors about their craft. A children's area will also be available where kids can try their hand at carving bars of soap with various kid-friendly tools.
Many of the carvings, sculptures, and other items on display will be available for purchase. Fifteen percent of proceeds from credit card sales will benefit the Eagle Creek Park Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Eagle Creek Park.
Please call 317-327-7148 for more information.
UPDATE: The Earth Discovery Center has reopened as of Monday, February 7, 2011, and resumed regular business hours.
Due to the sloping terrain and excessive amounts of ice blocking emergency exits from the building, as well as danger from falling ice from the roof, the Earth Discovery Center will be closed Sat & Sun, February 5 & 6, 2011.
Eagle Creek Park will be open dawn - dusk; main roads are clear and driveable as of Feb 4 (melting and refreezing is a possibility over the weekend). Hiking trails and some parking lots are still icy; please use caution when visiting the park.
The Ornithology Center will be open Sat & Sun from 9am-5pm - please call 327-2473 if you have any questions.
Eagle Creek Park has been closed, February 1, 2011, due to weather and hazardous road conditions within the park.
UPDATE: The park will also be closed February 2, along with most Indy Parks facilities.
UPDATE: Road conditions in Eagle Creek Park are still hazardous, so the park and facilities will remain closed February 3, 2011.
UPDATE: February 4, 2011 Eagle Creek Park, Ornithology Center, Earth Discovery Center and Administrative Office will be open for their regular business hours. Roads in the park are cleared for driving, but may still be treacherous for jogging or hiking. Hiking trails are extremely icy. Please use caution, and be aware of the potential for falling ice from buildings as temperatures rise.
Eagle Creek Earth Discovery Center currently has three seasonal head counselor nature day camp positions open for applications. Counselors will assist in the preparation and presentation of camps for children ages three to eleven.
Qualifications: a major or equivalent experience in Environmental Interpretation, Recreation, Environmental Education or Education is preferred. Program development and presentation experience is strongly desired. Must possess excellent communication skills and a personality that lends itself to being friendly, creative, energetic, patient, and diligent. A valid driver's license and First Aid/CPR certification is required. Moderate to excellent physical abilities are required for some long hikes and semi-strenuous outdoor activities. Counselors should be comfortable working with children in the out of doors.
Starting Date: May 17, 2010 (11-week seasonal position)
Work Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
Pay Range: $8.75-$9.25/hr