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 28,500 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 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

The first Metro Park, Blacklick Woods, opened in October 1948. Initially 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).

Girl on climbing wall at Scioto Audubon
Photo: Larry Hamill

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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Bat surveys yield good news

CARRIE MORROW Assistant Resource Manager Throughout the spring and summer months, the Resource Management staff, naturalists and volunteers get together every other week to watch bats emerge from some very …Read More

A personal perspective on the state nature preserve at Highbanks

HONOUR LACKEY Visitor Engagement Intern When you think of Metro Parks, maybe you think of the events like WAGfest or SciotoFest. Maybe you think of activities like climbing the rock …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Megan at Inniswood

Megan Fleischer Horticulturist, Inniswood Metro Gardens Hometown and background I’m from Perrysburg, which is about 12 miles southwest of Toledo in northwest Ohio and has a population of about 25,000. …Read More

A Metro Parks TV reviewer lives the 19th-century life

Metro Parks’ Human Resources Director, Renee Telfer, has been entertaining Metro Parks’ staff in our internal newsletter with a series of reviews of her favorite TV programs, always with an …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!