Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve at Blacklick Woods Metro Park inducted in the Old-Growth Forest Network!

The Buttonbush Swamp at Blacklick Woods Metro Park is part of the original 113-acre purchase of land that became the first Metro Park. It is one of the few remaining swamp forests in Ohio and is a great place to see birds and wildlife. The swamp forest is within the park’s Walter A. Tucker Nature Preserve. Photo John Watts

The Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve at Blacklick Woods Metro Park in Reynoldsburg, Ohio will be inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network on Friday, April 15, 2022 at 11AM. Joan Maloof, Director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will present a plaque to Jessica McClintock, Blacklick Woods Metro Park Manager and Tim Moloney, Executive Director. The addition of the Preserve will mark the 20th old-growth forest dedicated in Ohio.

Blacklick Woods Metro Park and Blacklick Woods Golf Course features 643 acres of woods, fields, seasonal swamp ponds and a small prairie. It includes one of the best remaining old-growth beech-maple forests in the region, and invites nearly one million guests annually to experience a snapshot of the flat till plain of Central Ohio, prior to its urbanization. The forest areas feature trails that wind through a buttonbush swamp forest with oak and white ash, red maple, elm, shagbark, bitternut hickory and dogwood trees.

Old-growth forest at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. Photos Kye Feasel and Cody Berkebile

The 54-acre Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve within Blacklick Woods is named to honor Walter A. Tucker, one of the founding directors of Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks. Its northern portion is a maturing beech forest with some sugar maple. The wetter southern area features white and pin oak, white ash with specimens of red maple, red elm, shagbark and bitternut hickory, hophornbeam, American hornbeam and dogwood.

The dedication ceremony will occur at the Blacklick Woods Nature Center, located at 6975 East Livingston Avenue, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. To learn more about Blacklick Woods Metro Park and for directions, click here. To view a park map, click here.

The Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) connects people with nature by creating a national network of protected, mature, publicly accessible, native forests. OGFN intends to preserve at least one forest in every county in the U.S. that can sustain a forest. OGFN works to identify forests for the Network, ensure their protection from logging, and inform people of the forest locations.

Founded in 2012 by Dr. Joan Maloof, the network currently has over 150 forests in the Network across 28 states. OGFN also recognizes exceptional forest advocates, educates about the extraordinary ecological benefits of old-growth forests, and speaks out regarding immediate threats to specific ancient forests. Learn more at

Dr. Maloof noted, “We look forward to adding more forests to the Network in the future. She added, “In addition to creating a network of forests, we are also creating a network of people who care about forests.”

Interested volunteers are welcome to contact OGFN through the website:


Old-Growth Forest Network: Joan Maloof, Executive Director, 410.251.1800 or

Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks: Homa Moheimani, Marketing, Communications & Public Engagement Manager: – Phone: 614.403.4480.

Old-growth forest at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. Photos Cody Berkebile