Diana Bradley and her grand daughter Kamilah Asad, 3,Toledo, try their luck fishing at Pearson Metropark Preserve last August.
Side Cut Metropark in Maumee will host an Outdoor Adventure Expo from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday to promote outdoor skill lessons, one of the highlights of the park district’s summer programs.
The staff of Metroparks of the Toledo Area is responding to local interest in activities that are increasingly popular nationwide, said Scott Carpenter, park district spokesman.
Of the 400 Lucas County residents who responded to a 2013 Metroparks phone survey, 27.3 percent said they would try archery, 41 percent said they would try canoeing or kayaking, and 47.8 said they would try nature-based photography, if given the opportunity.
The free weekend event, at the park on West River Road, Maumee, is a way to confirm the appeal of these activities, as well as others, such as geocaching, fishing, and backpacking.
“Being in the business, the surveys validate what we’re seeing,” Mr. Carpenter said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent national survey on outdoor recreation showed a 3.1 percent increase in people partaking in nature-based activities from 2000 to 2007, he said.
Local sporting stores and community groups will have exhibit booths at the Expo.
A group called Toledo Bikes will show visitors how to repair bicycles.
Nature’s Nursery will give lessons on caring for injured wildlife. Bass Pro Shops, one of the primary sponsors, will offer casting and archery lessons.
Those attending the event will be encouraged to explore the Oak Openings Preserve campground, which opened last year, and to participate in the summer Great Park Search, a nine-week, clue-based scavenger hunt, Mr. Carpenter said.
Bass Pro Shops will set up a campsite at the event to advertise camping gear, and Metroparks will distribute information about the search. Weekly winners will each receive $100 Bass Pro Shops gift cards.
“It’s a great time for people to be able to dabble in everything,” Amanda Hertzfeld, special events coordinator for the gear company’s Rossford store, said of the Expo.
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