Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks (Metro Parks) is a public agency serving the citizens of Central Ohio by providing a regional system of clean, safe, natural area parks. Metro Parks features 17 outstanding natural area parks with more than 200 miles of trails and over 27,000 acres of land in seven Central Ohio counties.
The mission of Metro Parks is to conserve open spaces, while providing places and opportunities that encourage people to discover and experience nature. Annually, more than 7.5 million people enjoy quality outdoor times in the parks, and more than 180,000 people participate in free nature education programs.
Created on August 14, 1945, Metro Parks is an independent political subdivision of the state of Ohio organized under Ohio Revised Code Section 1545 to conserve natural resources and provide natural area parks for people to enjoy. Metro Parks is a separate subdivision of the state of Ohio and is not under the administration of any other governmental unit.
The tremendous growth and enduring popularity of Metro Parks is due to the strong support of the community – as voters, as volunteers and as visitors. Metro Parks’ primary funding source is the 10-year, 0.75 mill levy approved by Franklin County voters in 2009. The levy provides a sound financial base for operating and improving existing parks, as well as acquiring additional land for future preservation.
Metro Parks has three designated categories of revenue: public sources (taxes, local government funds and government grants), operational fees (earned income), and other revenue (donations, interest income, etc).