It’s threshing time

A golden, ripe wheat field is a beautiful sight and its appearance in July means it is grain threshing season on the farm. At Metro Parks’ Slate Run Living Historical Farm, the farm workers use an 1880s era horse powered threshing machine to separate the seed heads of wheat, oats, barley and rye from straw stalks. Marcus and Maude, two mighty Percheron draft horses, …Read More

Happy birthday, Henry David Thoreau

Two hundred years ago, on July 12, 1817, Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts. This famous American author, transcendentalist, naturalist, political dissident and human rights advocate inspired the names behind Walden Waterfowl Refuge and Thoreau Lake at Blendon Woods. Thoreau is best known for spending more than two years in a cabin in the woods near Concord. While there, he spent his …Read More

World Snake Day: Celebrating Memaw and snakes around the globe

July 16 marks World Snake Day, a time to celebrate snakes and the vital roles they play in the ecosystem. The Metro Parks have several different snakes, including Memaw, a gray ratsnake. If you’ve ventured into Sharon Woods, you may have seen Memaw in the naturalist’s office. To celebrate World Snake Day, we’re sharing some fun facts about the gray ratsnake. Memaw, affectionately named for her …Read More

Butterflies of the Night

Butterflies get all the attention. They’re pretty, and they fly during the day when us fellow day-dwellers are likely to actually see them. Moths, on the other hand, are mostly nocturnal and often drab by comparison. But there are way more moths than butterflies in the world, and many are just as stunning as their butterfly brethren. Moths and butterflies are really two sides …Read More

The importance and beauty of forests

A summer walk in the cool green forests at any of your 19 Metro Parks will inspire your imagination and stir your senses. Forests are the centerpiece of most parks, from streamside or riparian forests of towering sycamores and gnarly box elders to the dry ridge-top forests of mountain laurel and chestnut oak. A forest is much more than a collection of trees. Our …Read More

Unsung beauties lie ready for discovery in the fields

A stroll or run through a Metro Park provides many views—forest, fields, mid-succession areas and mowed lawn areas. Fields provide a habitat for many plants and animals and are typically maintained to stay as that habitat, but were not planted with prairie flowers and grasses. If left alone, most fields and prairies would revert back to forest over time. To the casual observer, there …Read More

Threshing is done the old-fashioned way at Slate Run Living Historical Farm

With each passing month from spring to fall, the farm’s Percheron draft horses are kept busy as the driving forces behind the farm’s vast array of machinery and tools for field preparation. Whether it be plowing or harrowing fields, mowing to loading hay, I find it fascinating to watch these amazing animals in action. However, revealing itself in the month of July, there is …Read More

Bicycle Built for Two

Last week Rangers at Homestead Metro Park received a call on the duty cell phone from some cyclists at the end of the Heritage Trail.  They were concerned after finding a recumbent tandem bicycle with rear end damage and looking like it was “thrown” into the tree line.  Rangers were first on scene but quickly followed by what seemed to be a small army …Read More

Simply Succulents is simply fascinating

A long-standing tradition at Inniswood Metro Gardens is the seasonal garden theme for the display beds. This theme is chosen at the beginning of every year to help guide the designs of the 80 plus containers and annual displays planted throughout the grounds. In years past, themes have been everything from Going Tropical to A Concert of Color and Desirable and Reliable Annuals. This …Read More

The parks remove huge spreads of callery pear and other biological pollutants

If you hike the Mingo Trail at Scioto Grove Metro Park you will notice that many trees are being cut in the area. Visitors seem a little startled when they notice this. They think of Metro Parks as tree growers not tree cutters. These particular trees, however, are an example of what writer and entomologist Doug Tallamy calls “biological pollution.” These trees are called …Read More

Memorial Day Wrap Up 2017

Memorial Day has come and gone, ushering in the start of the summer season for us here at Metro Parks. The weekend was a good one, with little to no rain, even if the weathermen had called for it. Instead, Sunday and Monday were beautiful days and a ton of people came out to the Metro Parks. Battelle Darby Creek led the way for …Read More

Metro Parks help one out-of-stater get ready for some big races this summer

The call of the wild and the open spaces of nature have always had a powerful allure for one out-of-state resident, who visits family in Central Ohio at least three times a year. Jennifer Thorsen can’t keep away from the Metro Parks when she’s here (despite her parents’ objections). Jenny, age 37, lives in St Charles, Illinois, and says, “Running and nature are great …Read More

Ancient earthwork found at Blacklick Woods

A prehistoric circular earthwork has been discovered at Blacklick Woods Metro Park, by a review of old aerial maps. This method of earthwork discovery has become more and more common in recent years. The USDA keeps aerial maps of Ohio, some going back to the 1930s, when the earthworks may have been better defined. Although thousands of earthworks have been documented in Ohio over …Read More

Hail the Creek Taxi

The Creek Taxi will soon be in service to help canoers and kayakers enjoy a great float on Big Darby Creek. This special, one-time service is set for Saturday June 10. Bring your own registered canoe or kayak to the Upper Darby Canoe Access at Prairie Oaks Metro Park, 4275 Amity Rd. Hilliard OH 43026. Park there and enjoy a 2-mile self-guided float on …Read More

Bees work hard to pollinate fruit and vegetables at Slate Run Farm

Swarms of honey bees have recently visited the orchard at Slate Run Living Historical Farm. While some people may find this unsettling, it is a sign that the nearby hives are healthy, which is a very good thing. Bees are an integral part of food production. Without them, there would be no apples, peaches, peppers, cucumbers, nor many other fruits and vegetables. Swarms can …Read More

Keep the wild in wildlife

Late spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy a romp through the parks. My personal favorite is going for a hike shortly after a rain. There is something magical to me about the woods when the air is still cool and tiny rain droplets cling to rejuvenated leaves. I love the sights and smells, and especially seeing all the life around …Read More

Loving memories inspire great new features at Blendon Woods for the Wild Child in all of us

We hear it all the time: “Life is short.” And the rest are memories of that life. This is the backstory of the redesigned natural play area at Blendon Woods Metro Park—also known in my life as “Daddy and Maris’ park.” This morning when I woke up, my social media memories delivered the day my husband Tim and I announced that we were pregnant. …Read More

The weekly search for butterflies at Inniswood yields fascinating results

It probably isn’t a surprise that bees and butterflies of all kinds find a home at Inniswood. Our combination of cultivated gardens and natural areas provides opportunities to meet the needs of many lepidoptera species. Every week, April through October, an Inniswood educator sets out on a stroll through the gardens in search of butterflies. We follow a set route past flower beds, prairie …Read More

A float down Big Darby Creek is the perfect pick-me-up

If you’d like a beautiful, tranquil, challenging canoe or kayak float without leaving Franklin County then Big Darby Creek is for you. This dedicated National Scenic River is not only a biological gem it’s also an opportunity for a day of visual candy. Nature at its best is revealed as you float down the creek, making twisting turns and bouncing through riffled waters. Then …Read More

Five Trees to visit this Arbor Day Weekend (or any other time too)

It’s Arbor Day in Ohio, Friday April 28, 2017. Why not get out and celebrate this Arbor Day weekend by exploring your Metro Parks for some giants—giant trees, that is. The following are just a very few of the awesome trees you could visit. Follow the links for park directions and trail maps. Perhaps taking in the majesty of these behemoths will inspire you …Read More

Vernal Pools 2: What a change a month can bring

Last month when we visited the vernal pool (see Blog post), spring was just starting to break free from the icy grip of winter, although this winter wasn’t so icy…! The salamanders and wood frogs had just awakened from their winter torpor, the fairy shrimp cruised silently under the water’s surface, and the resident birds were cautiously announcing the longer days with song. But …Read More

See a bounty of nature’s riches at Blacklick Woods Metro Park

Spring is a special time in any temperate deciduous forest. The woods wake up after sleeping all winter, and a variety of life “springs” forth. In the swamp forest at Blacklick Woods, the vernal pools come alive. These temporary wetlands fill with water from snowmelt and spring rains, and despite having been dry since the previous summer, suddenly teem with life. Amphibians are the …Read More

¡Proteja Nuestros Parques!

Los estudiantes de español IV honores de Upper Arlington acaban de implementar un proyecto de servicio muy creativo e impactante, dirigido a hacer elecciones sanas y limpias hacia nuestro medio ambiente. Los estudiantes colaboraron con Columbus y Franklin County Metro Parks para desarrollar una serie de videos informativos diseñados para animar a sus visitantes del parque (hablantes de inglés y español) a proteger sus …Read More

Protect our Parks!

Students in Upper Arlington Spanish IV Honors classes just implemented a very creative and impactful service learning project aimed at making healthy and clean choices toward our environment. Students collaborated with Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks to develop a series of informational videos designed to encourage English & Spanish speaking park visitors help protect their parks. This project was designed as an initiative …Read More

Friends of Metro Parks award “Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants” to six parks

Friends of Metro Parks will again award grants to parks from the Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants Fund. Last year, five were awarded inaugural Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants to complete unique and diverse projects to enrich the park experience for visitors. The projects included an insect hotel, a roving nature station, and even a tandem bike to use on the Greenway Trails. These grants were …Read More

Metro Parks provide ideal places to start a walking or running routine

On a slightly brisk, yet sunny March day, a group of women keen to start a walking or running routine met at Blacklick Woods’ Beech Maple Lodge for a Metro Five-0: Walk and Run 101 program. They were greeted by Metro Parks Outreach Naturalist Karen Ricker and Columbus Running Company’s Outreach Coordinator Lisa Dillahunt. The program, for people age 50 and older, was designed …Read More

The eagles star in their ongoing show at Highbanks

In late 2009, a bald eagle pair started investigating an abandoned raptor nest within Highbanks Metro Park, along the Olentangy River. They were young birds, by eagle standards, probably about four years old, and this was their first nesting attempt. Though the nest was hard to see, a few dedicated volunteers spent many hours from March to May 2010 monitoring the eagles. They used …Read More

New life is here now, but the Farm’s heritage breeds cement a bridge to the past

Spring is the beginning of the new farming year, when the gardens and fields are being planted. It is also the time when we have the most animal births, specifically our sheep, cattle and hogs. As Slate Run is a Living Historical Farm, we do things the 1880s way. It means that our animals are heritage breeds, which can be loosely defined as breeds …Read More

HOUSES FOR FAIRIES, ELVES AND BUGS

Metro Parks educators are always trying to find new ways to engage our park visitors to utilize nature. Several years ago, a few naturalists read an article in the National Association for Interpretation magazine about fairy house programs and events. This seemed like an interesting way to get new visitors to the parks, but some of us wondered whether it would work, whether it might not …Read More

A Metro Parks Success Story in Community Policing

In 2016, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks was one of the first agencies in the state to have been certified in meeting Ohio’s standards to improve community and police relations. So far, 506 of the state’s 877 law enforcement agencies have adopted or are working toward adopting statewide standards for use of force, use of deadly force and the recruitment and hiring of …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat – Ranger Hough

This past board meeting, held on March 14, 2017 at  Blacklick Woods Metro Park, the Park Commissioners honored Ranger Josh Hough with a Lifesaving Award.  While on patrol of Prairie Oaks on January 16, 2017, ranger Hough noticed a car parked in an area where parking was not allowed.  Upon investigating, Ranger Hough discovered a visitor slumped over the steering wheel of the car …Read More

Five steps to an edible landscape

Growing our own food doesn’t have to change our residential landscape into a row-covered produce farm. The food that we grow can also be quite pleasing to the eye and there are some simple ways to add them to your garden. Here are five ways to incorporate edibles into an existing landscape. Look down First, remember to look down. Many types of thyme grow …Read More

Pokémon Inspirations

The mobile game Pokémon Go made a big impact on us at Highbanks last year. We had approximately 400,000 additional visitors to the park compared to 2015, and a big part of that increase was people coming to Highbanks in order to play the game. Visitors arrived at Highbanks from all over Ohio, and some even made trips from Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois so …Read More

Kids learn about golf and learn life skills at The First Tee of Central Ohio programs

Registration is under way for the spring sessions of The First Tee of Central Ohio programs for kids age 5 to 17, hosted by Blacklick Woods Golf Courses. There is a lot of fun and a lot of golf, but the programs are also designed to build character and develop leadership skills. More than a thousand kids participated in the program last year, led …Read More

The Best Part About Metro Parks’ Summer Camps—EVERYTHING!

Here at Metro Parks, we’re gearing up for summer and you know what that means—SUMMER CAMP! Trails are cleared, hot dogs are roasted, archery bows are strung, kayaks are docked on the bank, fishing line and friendship bracelet thread is untangled, and all of the wonders of your Metro Parks are waiting for you to discover. If seeing your kids come home with muddy …Read More

The Year’s First Wildflower

By February, most of us are tired of winter and are probably looking forward to spring with great anticipation. Some of us are even walking through the fields and forests in search of the first signs of spring. If you know where to look, you may find the first new wildflower of spring, the skunk cabbage. Skunk cabbage gets its name from the fact …Read More

Augmented reality at the Winter Hikes

At the Highbanks Winter Hike (Sat February 11, 10am) and the Glacier Ridge Winter Hike (Sun February 12, 2pm), you can use a fantastic app to enhance your winter hike experience. The TaleBlazer app was a big success when used at the Sharon Woods winter hike in January. Using the TaleBlazer app you can download a self-guided tour of the winter hike routes at both …Read More

Stink bugs and lady beetles

Be warned! If you see a stink bug in your house, don’t smash it, or you’ll immediately get to know how stink bugs got their name. Look up “P.U.” in the dictionary. Your kids might see a beautiful looking bug and be captivated by its brilliant, shiny orange-red color. But watch out that this orange ladybug doesn’t bite them. Stink bugs and ladybugs spend …Read More

Let There Be Soup

Winter hikers at Blendon Woods have been relishing and praising the park’s chicken noodle soup for years, and many have asked, or even pleaded, for the recipe. That, I’m afraid, remains a closely guarded secret. For 12 years now, the soup has been made by the same pair of dedicated soupers, Blendon Woods Assistant Park Manager Brett Berisford, and his fellow souper Kurt Fortman. …Read More

The Gleason Family Adventure

UPDATE: June 2017 The Gleasons have changed their schedule and will now head to the Rocky Mountains National Park as the first leg of their trip. SEE VIDEO OF THE GLEASON FAMILY WITH 10TV’s JEFF HOGAN The Gleasons of Central Ohio have made a family commitment to take a series of adventures this year—but how to get fit for it? Well, the Metro Parks …Read More

Extreme weather affects Christmas Bird Counts

Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been noting and recording our feathered friends for the last 117 years and is the oldest running Citizen Science Project in America. In a typical year, data is collected by tens of thousands of volunteers across the Americas to help assess the health of bird populations and guide conservation action. Last year, at least in Central Ohio, …Read More

Veteran police horse Willie remembered

Metro Parks rangers would like to express their sadness at the passing of a Columbus police force veteran this week. Willie, an American saddlebred horse, was 24 years old and accomplished great things for the police department. Read the full story here

Volunteers recognized for their invaluable contributions to Metro Parks

Metro Parks visitors take delight in many things they can see in the parks, whether that be a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a chance sighting of a deer or a coyote in a woodland clearing, the wonderful spread of wildflowers in a spring forest—but many visitors take even more delight in seeing the easily-recognizable shirt of a Metro Parks volunteer. Volunteers can be seen …Read More

Wild animals need our care and attention on the roads

Earlier this week a couple of Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies alerted staff at Scioto Grove Metro Park about an injured barred owl along the roadway at Jackson Pike. Park staff came out, got the owl, took it back to the maintenance shop and called the Ohio Wildlife Center (OWC). A volunteer from OWC came out and took the raptor to their veterinary hospital for …Read More

Snow Story 1: Animals and Snow

Have you ever wondered what animals do when it snows? For many species, food sources and water are buried under snow and ice. But to other animals, snow is a protective layer providing warmth and cover from predators. One way animals deal with snow is to sleep. Well, not sleep exactly! Many animals undergo a type of torpidity, or change in their body’s metabolism. …Read More

Oh Christmas Tree

Last week, rangers at Sharon Woods noticed a spruce tree had been cut just outside of the main gate. Not the whole tree, but rather just the top third of the tree. Just enough to make a small Christmas tree. Maybe it wasn’t for a Christmas tree. Maybe it was cut for some other reason… a week before Christmas. Regardless, for us rangers it …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat to Rangers Watkins and Davis

Congratulations to Shelby Watkins and Dustin Davis.  Shelby and Dustin successfully completed the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, becoming certified peace officers by the State of Ohio.  They were sworn in as newly commissioned rangers at the last Board of Park Commissioners meeting held December 13, 2016 at Inniswood Metro Gardens.  They are now able to not only enforce park rules and regulations, but also …Read More

Special programming for special kids

It’s widely accepted that outdoor play and exploration is essential to the healthy physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of all children. But children with special needs often face barriers to accessing and connecting with the outdoors. This is a challenge that Metro Parks and the YMCA Early Childhood Resource Network+ have taken on, to ensure that families with special needs children have access …Read More

Tally our feathered friends at the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts

From December 14 through January 5 each year tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the longest-running citizen science wildlife census in the world. We invite you to join staff and volunteers at Blendon Woods (Dec 18, 8 am), Glacier Ridge (Dec 31, 8:30am), Highbanks (Dec 17, 9am), Inniswood (Dec 17, 8am) and Sharon …Read More

Rangers Patrol During Deer Gun Week

It is the favorite time of year for many.  Viewed as a holiday by more than one.  Deer gun week started this past Monday, November 28th, 2016 and lasted a week.  Last season, roughly 37% of the total number of deer harvested in Ohio were harvested during the deer gun week.  Deer harvested in Franklin County contributed to less than 0.5% of the total …Read More

Look out for Woody Woodpecker and friends this winter

Watch out for—or should that be listen out for—woodpeckers at the parks this winter. Their spectacular coloring delights the eye, while their persistent hammering on trees can be a real assault on the ears, at least until you adjust to it. When they hammer away at the tree with their hefty bills, they’re either hunting for food, building a nest, or even communicating with …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat – Rangers Custer, Hurt and Smith

A tip of the campaign hat goes out to rangers Brad Custer, Charles Hurt and Megan Smith for their recent promotions from part-time rangers to full-time rangers. Brad Custer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources Management/Administration from The Ohio State University. He worked as a part-time ranger at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in 2014. He relocated to Oregon and worked as the …Read More

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In this famous line from Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2), William Shakespeare’s tale of the “star-cross’d” lovers, Juliet is telling Romeo that his last name isn’t important, and that she didn’t care that their families were feuding, as a name is a man-made and meaningless …Read More

Thanksgiving on the Farm

The idea of Thanksgiving in America often conjures up images of Native Americans and early settlers around tables laden with food. George Washington was the first president to declare a national day of thanksgiving and prayer, for Nov 26, 1789. Other presidents set aside national days of thanksgiving after that, but President Abraham Lincoln finally declared it a federal holiday in 1863. (In 1941, …Read More

Help us improve the Greenway Trails

The Central Ohio Greenway Trails are an extensive series of multipurpose trails connecting communities, neighborhoods, downtown Columbus and other destination points. Metro Parks manages and maintains more than 50 miles of these trails, which are used for fitness, recreational and transportation needs and add to the quality of life for the people of Central Ohio. We want to continue to improve upon the Greenway …Read More

Will You Go Out With Us?

  You may remember when REI did something different on Black Friday last year—they closed the co-op’s doors and invited the nation to opt outside with them. And more than a million people did just that. It really caught the attention of our community. To learn more about the plans for this year, visit REIOptOutside. Black Friday #OptOutside Social Media Contest: This year on Black Friday we’re …Read More

Unbe-leaf-able Science

Fall is here and the leaves are changing colors right before our eyes. In just a few more weeks, the leaves will have fallen from the trees and winter will be right around the corner. But before that happens, let’s learn what’s going on inside of the trees… and you can even try an experiment at home to see the science behind the leaves …Read More

The Haunted Forest Effect

The work of busy beech blight aphids While hiking along the many trails of our Metro Parks a mysterious substance can be discovered this time of year. As this mysterious black growth unveils itself, it appears to be oozing off the limbs of beech trees. It is in such forests, with these beautiful beech trees, that an observant eye may witness nature’s Halloween decor draped …Read More

You Can Eat That: Black Walnut

Launching into wild edible plants may seem complicated, but with a little knowledge and an adventurous mindset, you could be foraging for your own food in no time. Before you get started, enter with a mindset of SAFETY FIRST! Certain plants can have either acute or underlying toxins and some may even have both. The first thing to do is to learn to identify plants. …Read More

Spiders: The not so spooky Halloween symbol

Ask any kindergartener and they will tell you that spiders have eight legs, eight eyes (most do) and two body parts…and they are way cool. Most adults would not agree with the latter part and may shudder and use words like “heebie-jeebies.” Spiders have intrigued humans since ancient times, and were seen as mystical because of their ability to weave intricate webs. Much like …Read More

Fall hiking in the parks #3 – October 14, 2016

HOMESTEAD METRO PARK This spring, staff at Homestead started the conversion of mowed lawn into habitat by seeding native tallgrass prairie. It will take three to five years for the prairie to become established. Since the planted area is highly visible, staff incorporated annuals into the seed mix to produce a display of beautiful flowers early in the process. This summer there have been bursts of white, …Read More

Fall hiking in the parks #2 – October 7, 2016

SHARON WOODS If you are looking for a leisurely walk that’s chocked-full of fall colors, the fields at Sharon Woods are at their fall-color peak with blooming Goldenrod and New England Aster. Start your walk on our Edward Thomas Trail. This trail passes through our 319-acre Edward Thomas State Nature Preserve known for its mature oak trees. From there, take the connector to hop …Read More

Myth busting the hickory tussock moth caterpillar

You may have seen this post somewhere on social media: “POISONOUS CATERPILLAR FOUND IN OHIO— It may look like a woolly worm..but it’s not. This is a venomous caterpillar from Canada known as the White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar and it’s been spotted in northeast Ohio. It can be either white or brightly colored. More importantly, it has hairs with barbs that can stick …Read More

Columbus City Schools Intern Initiative

If you visited a Metro Park this summer, you may have seen a group of high school students staining a deck or trimming alongside a trail. These students were part of a Metro Parks program called the Columbus City Schools Intern Initiative (CSI). Metro Parks hires Columbus City School high school students to work on maintenance crews that travel to different parks over the course …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat – Rangers Heisey, Knowles, Kaderly and White

A lot of things happening in the ranger ranks over the last few weeks. Mike Heisey, Glacier Ridge Park Manager, retired on August 31, 2016 after 37 years of service to the Metro Parks. Mike started his career at Innsiwood Metro Gardens as the horticulturist. He was then promoted to Assistant Manager at Innsiwood. Mike then was promoted to manager of Glacier Ridge where he …Read More

Pondering Pawpaws

Look for the dark maroon flowers of the pawpaw tree in early spring and dare to take a whiff. It smells like rotting meat. But believe it or not, by September, these foul-smelling flowers will have developed into a delicious, nutritious edible fruit. Dig a little deeper into the history of the pawpaw and you’ll discover even more surprises. Some have called pawpaw (Asimina …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat – Rangers Davis and Caldwell

Two of our newer rangers, Dustin Davis at Greenways and Shelby Caldwell at Highbanks, are currently attending the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. They recently passed a crucial step, the physical training assessment.  The test consists of running a mile and a half, sit-ups and push-ups, hitting the benchmarks all under the required time.  Now that the assessment was successfully completed, the two rangers can sit …Read More

Rock On at the Community Rock Climbing Festival

Scioto Audubon Metro Park’s climbing wall opened in 2009 and has been a resounding success with visitors, and especially with the climbing community. Our Community Rock Climbing Festival on Saturday September 10, 2016, is a celebration of that success and we invite all people to join us for a fun day of activities and adventure, with a Hollywood blockbuster movie to end the day. EVEREST …Read More

Bumble Bustle at Inniswood

Bees can be a polarizing topic for many. I meet visitors all the time that have an aversion to them. People may have had a traumatic experience with a bee, maybe they aren’t fans of that buzzing noise they make, or maybe they just don’t like bugs. Either way, there is no denying that without our bees there would be fewer beautiful flowers and even less tasty …Read More

Annual Nature Print Contest

Metro Parks, in cooperation with the Lens & Leaves Camera Club, has run an annual nature print contest for more than 25 years. Terrific photographs are entered every year and all of the entries are displayed over four autumn weekends. This year, the exhibits will be held at the following locations and dates: There are usually around 200 entries in the display. Visitors to …Read More

The Cycle Continues

As we have discussed in other issues of the blog, theft from vehicles is the largest criminal problem rangers deal with at Metro Parks. Occurrences are often cyclic. A criminal, or group of criminals, have some success at a location and continue to hit those locations until they find some place better or get caught.  Sometimes we catch them, sometimes it is another agency.  Rest …Read More

Caution, turtle crossing

Why did the turtle cross the road?  To get to the other side, actually! We saw this gorgeous woodland box turtle crossing the Beech Woodland Trail at Rocky Fork Metro Park during a tram program. Luckily we were able to stop the tram in time to rescue the turtle. Of course, seeing the turtle brought up plenty of questions and conversation about what to do when …Read More

The hummingbird’s tongue and other wonders

My barely-a-toddler granddaughter is fascinated by everything. To her, dirt has wonderful textures and indeed may be edible. Touching soft leaves or prickly conifer needles brings a smile to her face. The birds that hang out in neighborhood gardens are endlessly entertaining. Chain link fences are like mountains that must be climbed because they can be climbed. Yet there are many other wonders of this …Read More

Bobwhite quail return to Central Ohio

You may have heard about our successful reintroduction of northern bobwhite quail at Slate Run Metro Park. Bobwhite quail is a native species that has been struggling in the state due to harsh winters and habitat loss. Metro Parks’ staff began planning a project in 2012 at Slate Run to begin altering the park’s grasslands and forest edges to meet the habitat requirements of quail, with the goal …Read More

Driving me batty!

I remember when I was child my aunt and uncle had so many bats on their farm that my cousins were afraid to play outside in the evening. I loved to go out and watch them hunt around the security light. They have always fascinated me. Now it is much less common to see a bat flying around. When I do see one, I …Read More

Tip of the Campaign Hat to Ranger Doug Ramey

A tip of the campaign hat goes out to Ranger Doug Ramey at Blacklick Woods, whose observation and diligence helped Reynoldsburg Division of Police with a case. In today’s age of electronic communication and social media, law enforcement agencies are able to regularly and easily share information with other agencies. In this case, the Reynoldsburg Division of Police shared photos from a Walmart security …Read More