Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants: 2024 Edition

Friends of Metro Parks Board Member

Tad Jeffrey at Clear Creek Metro Park. Photo Ken Browne

Who was Tad Jeffrey?

Robert Hutchins “Tad” Jeffrey II was a Columbus businessman and philanthropist who sadly passed in 2016. A Bexley native, he was committed to reinventing his family business and uplifting the Columbus community. He served on numerous boards supporting organizations such as United Way, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and COSI, to name a few. As a Park Board Commissioner for 16 years, Tad hiked nearly every trail in the park system — often with his grandchildren — and continually encouraged central Ohio residents to experience nature in our wonderful Metro Parks. During his time on the board, Metro Parks doubled its acreage including the creation of Three Creeks Metro Park, which he championed. His outstanding commitment to protect wildlife habitat and have people enjoy and learn about nature is why we continue to honor him through the Friends of Metro Parks’ Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants.

What is a Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grant?

Each year, Friends of Metro Parks sets aside funds for a mini-grant program called the “Tad Jeffrey Memorial Fund.” These funds help the parks implement unique projects and programs. Friends of Metro Parks sends out an application to Metro Parks staff for ideas that will support the wildlife and/or enhance the park experience for visitors. We award grants for items that would otherwise not be covered in the park budget to make each year bigger and better than the year before. When you become a Friend, the Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grants are one of the many things your membership and donations support. You can also make a donation and designate the funds to support the grant directly through this form.

What was funded in 2024?

The exciting part: Announcing the grant recipients for 2024. We had a record number of submissions this year which led to some enthusiastic debates among the board (all in good fun, of course). Be on the lookout for these park updates over the remainder of the year for you to enjoy:

• Bathyscopes for stream programs at Battelle Darby Creek
• Bird feeders for the new Canopy Walk at Blacklick Woods
• Supplies for adventure backpacks at Blendon Woods
• Lanterns for early/late hikes at Clear Creek
• Chronolog stations for a community science program at Pickerington Ponds and Sharon Woods
• Bike fleet and helmets for Outdoor Adventure
• Installation of an oasis deck at Pickerington Ponds
• Lending tackle locker at Prairie Oaks
• Fireside updates at Quarry Trails
• Updates to bike repair stations at Scioto Audubon

2023 Shoutout

One of the 2023 Tad Jeffrey Memorial Grant recipients was Purple Martin housing for Quarry Trails which was beautifully implemented:

Purple martin housing at Quarry Trails Metro Park.

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