Public nature and farm programs with an autumn theme are on the Preservation Parks schedule for October. Most programs are free and require no advance registration.

Halloween will be a focus as the month wears on, and four family programs are planned for kids of all ages. This Friday, families can attend Ghost Tales, Frights & Spooky Nights, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Gallant Farm, 2150 Buttermilk Hill Road. Visitors will hear local ghost stories and can share their eerie experiences. Refreshments will be provided.

Also, families can register to Build a Scarecrow. There is no cost and Preservation Parks will provide the framework and stuffing. Participants should bring the clothing and other items to decorate their unique scarecrow. Scarecrow building will take place Oct. 21, starting at 6:30 p.m., at Deer Haven Park, 4183 Liberty Road.

Registration is required by Oct. 14; visit and click on the home page Registration button. Then, the community is invited to the annual Trick or Treat Trail event, Oct. 23, 1-4 p.m., also at Deer Haven Park. Children can come in costume to gather treats from characters along the nature trail. You can decorate pumpkins and enjoy a hayride.

Following the theme, the park district will offer Halloween in the Hollow, Oct. 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Shale Hollow Park, 6320 Artesian Run. Park staff will introduce participants to some of nature’s “spooky” animals — spiders, bats — a hike, campfire and refreshments will be part of the program.

In all, Preservation parks is holding 18 public programs through the end of October. Programs on apples, fall foliage, migrating birds and soup making are a few of the examples. You can view the program calendar online, at, or call 740-524-8600.

Information provided by Preservation Parks of Delaware County. Their goal is to protect what’s precious. Natural spaces, habitat for wildlife, time for your family. Ten natural-areas parks are open in Delaware County, for hiking, picnicking, free nature programs and other passive recreation pursuits. For information on parks and programs, visit