Pack the Pond
(August 2) [rain date August 5])
Pack the Pond is back this year, running Monday, August 2 from 5pm to 8pm at Hudson Springs Park (rain date is Thursday, August 5, same times).
Join the hundreds of families that attend Pack the Pond! Activities include free kayak, canoe and paddleboard opportunities courtesy of Kent State University Recreation Department (pre-registration is required), as well as geocaching information shared by The Muddy Dawgs, free hot dogs, and our annual raffle featuring many prizes including a Lifetime Spitfire 120 Tandem Kayak.
Click here for information about the program, to access the kayak/canoe/paddleboard registration links, for information about purchasing raffle tickets in advance, and more.
(June 1 through August 31)
Our annual Playground Palooza event is back, running June 1 thru August 31 and is sponsored again by Acme Fresh Markets and our Best Friends sponsor Western Reserve Racing. Click here for more information.
Summer Education Program
Our children’s summer education programs are back, for children ages 5 to 12. Click here for more information and to register – registration is required for these free classes.
Note: As of 7/1/21, all classes are full. Please check back the week before a scheduled class. If there are any cancellations, we will reopen the registration for that specific class.
Kayak and Paddleboard Classes
Entry level paddleboard and kayak classes will be offered again this summer, on Saturdays in July from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at Hudson Springs Park. Experienced boarders and kayakers will also benefit.
Safety training, instruction and equipment will be provided by Kent State University Recreational Services. Click here for more information including how to register for these classes.
Geocaching Adventure 2021 – The 10th Year!
Are you ready to explore the Hudson parks searching for some unique and challenging caches? The Friends of Hudson Parks Geocaching Adventure will continue in its 10th year with the launch of a new series of caches expected to be active by April 2021. This is a perfect activity to get out into the parks to enjoy in any season. The 2021 caches hidden throughout the Hudson Parks are the foll0wing:
- FOHP1-21 Bicentennial Woods
- FOHP2-21 Hudson Springs Park Lakeside
- FOHP3-21 Hudson Springs Park SE
- FOHP4-21 Maple Grove Park South
- FOHP5-21 Maple Grove Park North
- FOHP6-21 Wildlife Woods
- FOHP Bonus 2021 – Wildlife Woods
Each cache will require you to solve a puzzle to find or access the cache, so be sure to read the cache descriptions before heading out on your adventure. Record the code found in each of the 6 caches to determine the coordinates for the bonus cache. To get started, see additional details in bold below.
Complete the 2021 Geocaching Adventure form (click here to download the 2021 form) by recording the code from each of the caches and adding the sticker you will find in the bonus cache. Then drop your completed form in the mail box at the Hudson Springs Park entrance booth or mail the completed form to Friends of Hudson Parks, P.O. Box 941, Hudson, OH 44236. Each cacher who turns in a properly completed form will receive an original 2021 Friends of Hudson Parks pathtag (while supplies last). Your PathTag will be mailed to you. This year’s PathTag recognizes the FOHP “The Year of the Pollinator” theme. Turn in your form by November 30, 2021 and you will have a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from a local merchant.
All of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Geocaching Adventure Series remain available, and you can still receive a 2018, 2019 or 2020 PathTag (while supplies last) for completing each of those series (click to download the 2018 form, the 2019 form or the 2020 form).
For a list of the active Friends of Hudson Parks geocaches click one of the links below. You will need to register and create an account at Geocaching.com – registration is free and quick to do. Go to the bottom of that page to click the link for the “Help Center” for more helpful information about geocaching.
Story Walks at Veterans Way and Bicentennial Woods
The Story Walk program is jointly sponsored by Hudson Community Education & Recreation (HCER) and Friends of Hudson Parks in cooperation with the Hudson Parks Department. Currently there are Story Walks at two parks.
The Veterans Way walk now features The Kindness Book by Todd Parr (the author’s website is here). The story emphasizes the importance of kindness in our daily lives. This story is especially important during these virus distracting times. Hikers should enter the Veterans Way walk at the entrance behind the playground. The walk finishes near Darrow Road.
The Bicentennial Woods walk tells the story of The Happy Tree and the Bee by C.E. King, about the formation of a long friendship and its importance in nature. The walk starts at the Victoria Parkway entrance and finishes near Stow Road.
The walks were originally installed in 2016 with the idea that families with young children could take a stroll through the park while reading a book at the same time. The Story Walk displays have recently been upgraded and improved with new, more durable, weather-resistant materials. And new stories are on display.
Meredith Zaffrann, HCER Director, says “The Story Walk is a great partnership with Friends of Hudson Parks and a great asset to the Hudson community. I enjoy providing a fun element to the trails that everyone can enjoy while being outside. We are also grateful to The Learned Owl for helping HCER with providing the books.”
Books are selected by the HCER staff, and are changed 3-4 times a year. It’s a long process because they have to ensure the books fit the specs of the story boards. There are 16 story board displays in each park. The staff tries to choose a variety of books that the whole family can enjoy.
Readers who would like to submit a great Story Walk book can contact HCER at 330-653-1210 or email HCER@hudson.edu.
Pollinator Meadow at Darrow Road Park
You may have noticed some recent activity at Darrow Road Park. The Hudson Parks Department, City of Hudson, Hudson Park Board and Friends of Hudson Parks together with the US Fish and Wildlife Service are working to create a Pollinator Meadow on six acres at Darrow Road Park in Hudson. The three year process to create the “Pollinator Meadow at Darrow Rd Park” began in mid-June. Click here to download a presentation about the project and click here for more information.