Less than 10 miles from my home this week’s park is Crowder District Park which is part of the Wake County Parks, Recreation & Open Space system. Located on 33 acres this park has a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental education. Opened in 1998, the history of this park can be traced back to 1914 with the birth of Doris Pierce Crowder. The late Mrs. Crowder donated the land with the stipulation that it be used for public recreation.
I enjoyed walking around the pond which was reconstructed based on Mrs. Crowder's childhood memories of the area.There is a .3 mile paved trail around the pond that includes several bridges and overlooks. There is a .8 mile loop around the outer perimeter of the park. While there, I found several natural surface trails and one of them led to the amphitheater that I assume is used for programs. Just above the pond is an observation deck that provides opportunities for bird watching and I spotted an owl house in this area. I didn’t start my visit counting bird houses and bird feeders, but I should have. This park has many of both to nurture and attract birds. There were also several rocket bat boxes.
The park has two playgrounds, picnic shelters, a sand volleyball court and open field for play. There is also a shade garden, prairie garden, and butterfly garden. Outside the office, my eye was attracted to a large bin labeled “Discovery Boxes”. I had to open the bin and see what was inside. I found numerous plastic bins with equipment, books, and guides. I learned all the boxes come with a lesson plan for teachers or parents to provide their own educational program while at the park. What a cool idea to help visitors learn about the natural wonders they can find!
I’m already making plans to go back this spring and see the gardens in bloom and will allow more time to sit and watch the birds at the feeders. For more information on Crowder District Park visit http://www.wakegov.com/parks/crowder/Pages/default.aspx