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About Valerie Beerbower

Originally from Tiffin, Ohio, Val Hunt Beerbower is a 2005 graduate of Ohio University and currently serves as public relations specialist for Five Rivers MetroParks here in Dayton. She lives with her husband, Mike, in Kettering where they enjoy riding bikes on this region's extensive bikeway system, hiking in the MetroParks, digging the local arts scene, and experimenting with ethnic cooking.

Five Rivers MetroParks Celebrates Golden Anniversary

Five Rivers MetroParks and local artists collaborated to create unique "hidden nature" pieces. Check out the full exhibit, including Marsha Pippenger's "Ode to King Billy," featured here, at the kickoff celebration on Wednesday, April 10, at the Schuster Center.

On April 8, 1963, then-Probate Judge Neal Zimmers approved a petition to start a new park district in Dayton. Thanks to the efforts of a group of forward-thinking citizens concerned with quickly disappearing green space, efforts to protect the region's natural heritage created what we know today as Five Rivers MetroParks. For the past 50 years, Five Rivers MetroParks has provided outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. These experiences are unique for each visitor -- some come to the parks for their offerings in exciting outdoor adventure. Others visit as a … [Read more...]



Get a Taste of Adventure with the Biennial Adventure Speaker Series

Check out Eleanor Moseman's presentation tonight at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. This Dayton native will tell her story about bicycling 15,000 miles across Asia as the kick-off to the Adventure Speaker Series.

We’re barely a third of the way into the winter season and I’m already feeling cabin-feverish. I try to take advantage of the snow while it’s here. I've gone sledding and skiing and ice skating, but regardless of how many times I try to use precipitation as a propellant and rocket myself down a hill or across a sheet of rock-hard ice, I still find myself craving more outdoor adventure. If you’re the type of adventure-seeker opportunist and, say, enjoys driving a car over the cobbled humps of frozen snow lining an un-plowed street because you can pretend you’re blazing trails across the Arctic … [Read more...]



Ice Skating Returns to RiverScape Nov 23rd

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The region’s largest outdoor ice skating rink open Friday, November 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission to MetroParks Ice Rink at RiverScape MetroPark (229 E. Monument Ave., Dayton) is just $7, which includes the cost of skate rentals. Work off Thanksgiving indulgences on the ice and enjoy holiday music during the grand-opening weekend: Friday, Nov. 25, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. MetroParks Ice Rink will be open every day of the week—even special holiday hours—through Thursday, February 28, 2013. … [Read more...]



All kinds of “outdoorsy” happening at the Midwest Outdoor Experience

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I am not an “outdoorsy” person. But I’m learning. Honestly. If you ask anyone who knew me from grade school, college or even just a few years ago will attest to an increase in the amount of sporting goods equipment I own and the number of shoes featuring actual soles that are created for purposes outside of pure fashion. My greatest impetus for this foray into the outdoors is my husband, followed closely by my occupation. So pretty much “life” is encouraging me to venture off the couch and into the woods. As a new inductee into a world filled with adventure and hiking boots and roof … [Read more...]



Why you should “give a dam” about the River Run project

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If you're no stranger to this blog, you're probably familiar with the Last Dam Summer campaign that kicked off about a month ago. If not, the Cliff's Notes version is that Five Rivers MetroParks is planning to remove the low dam near the Dayton Art Institute and install bank stabilization features along the Great Miami River that will pull double duty as kayak play areas. This is all part of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, which includes other totally cool projects like the Patterson Corridor improvements that will connect the Oregon District to RiverScape MetroPark and Fifth Third … [Read more...]



Pedals 4 Pancakes: How bicycle commuting can change your life

2011 Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast

Who’s got two thumbs and can help save the world while saving some dough and burning calories? This girl! And that guy, and that girl, and that girl, and especially that polydactyl guy. That’s right, anyone can accomplish this earth-friendly laundry list simply by biking to work. Celebrate your two-wheeled liberation on Friday, May 18, with a free pancake breakfast at RiverScape MetroPark, compliments of your outdoorsy pals at Five Rivers MetroParks. Since gaining status as a bronze-level bike-friendly berg, Dayton’s cycling population has grown. New initiatives include the City of Dayton’s … [Read more...]



Get Out & Give Back Day Improves Community, Engages YPs

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They’re coming. On Friday, May 4, a sea of blue shirts will roll through downtown Dayton, leaving a wake of good karma in its path. That’s right, the annual Get Out & Give Back Dayton day has returned! The event is hosted by Generation Dayton but young professionals from all walks of life and varying professional organizations are participating. More than 100 volunteers will take up their shovels, hammers, dust mops, work gloves and other tools of do-goodery to spruce up the area. This event is important because it not only connects young professionals directly to the Dayton area, it … [Read more...]



Downtown Pops Up and Gets Activated

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Picking the perfect holiday present doesn’t have to induce panic. Gift giving can be one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season (I won’t even get into awkward confessions from your inebriated relatives). What kind of gift should it be? How much should you spend? Will the present-getter be upset you didn’t spend more? Or will he or she be angry if you did spend a lot and it winds up being inequitable in value to the gift you received? So much pressure! Santa makes it look easy since his recipients are typically under the age of 8. Toys? Yes. Socks? No. Done. For the rest of us, … [Read more...]



Even Procrastinators Can Have A Fresh, Local Feast

Get your last-minute local feast fixins at Stock-Up Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. November 23.

I have no excuse. It's not as if Thanksgiving occurs on a rotating basis. It's the fourth Thursday every November. Even leap years. Nevertheless, the weekend descends upon me and I wind up in an annual scramble to assemble a side dish with enough picky-eater consensus and stability to be transported across state lines. But even I, with my short-sighted meal planning capabilities, can give friends a family a taste of Dayton with the cooks' last call known as Stock-Up Wednesday at the PNC 2nd Street Market. The Market is usually open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to … [Read more...]



New trail connects Miami, Montgomery counties

Photo by Ezlora.com Photography

CELEBRATION, GROUP RIDES PLANNED The Miami Valley’s regional bikeway system keeps getting better. Construction has finished on a portion of trail connecting Montgomery and Miami County’s bikeways together. The public is invited to attend grand opening festivities in Kyle Park in Tipp City. Group bike rides leaving from Troy and Vandalia will take place at 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., respectively, and meet in Kyle Park for the 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 12. The 2.5-mile trail connector is part of a regional plan created to make the region even more bike friendly. … [Read more...]