An introduction to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Your 20 Metro Parks provide endless opportunities for you to connect with nature and have fun in the outdoors. With more than 28,000 acres of land and water to explore and 230 miles of trails to traverse, there’s plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the wonder and majesty of nature in Metro Parks. We’re free and only open every day for your enjoyment.

The mission of Metro Parks is to conserve open spaces, while providing places and opportunities that encourage people to discover and experience nature.

Our History

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, 0.95 mill levy approved by Franklin County voters in November 2018. 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).

Our Future

We continually work to responsibly manage our resources, while enhancing visitor experiences. We are dedicated to meeting taxpayer expectations while fulfilling our mission’s mandate.

Photo: Dave Jolley

News & Upcoming Events

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20 IN 22: The Peninsula

VIRGINIA GORDON Communications Coordinator Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Metro Parks was very much part of the A-Team, the John ‘Hannibal’ Smith of the moment, …Read More

Winter Hikes Series – 50th Anniversary

JILL SNYDER Visitor and Engagement Manager In Ohio, people often assume that the winter means a time to cuddle up inside and avoid the outdoors. Fifty years ago, Metro Parks …Read More

Taking care of our newest state nature preserve

CARRIE MORROW Assistant Resource Manager Metro Parks’ natural resource management staff and their volunteers visit the W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna several times each year to control invasive plants, collect …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Jen at Metro Parks Headquarters

Jen Boniface Manager of Park Operations Hometown and background I’m from Barberton, which is about 8 miles southwest of Akron. The town was founded in 1891 by an industrialist named …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!