DIVISION OF PARKS AND RECREATION
1952 Belcher Drive, Building C-3
Columbus, Ohio 43224-1386
The Division of Parks and Recreation, established in 1949, consolidated responsibility for canal system reservoirs, forest areas and wildlife parks, which had all been under various other agencies.
Ohio's state park system protects more than 200,000 acres of land and water recreational resources. The 74 state parks include over 9,000 camp-sites in 57 campgrounds, eight resort lodges, six golf courses, 523 cottages, four dining lodges, and 46 marinas/boat rental operations.
In addition, the division maintains more than 1,000 miles of multipurpose trails, 76 swim beaches, 35 visitor/nature centers, nearly 8,000 public docks, and licenses over 10,000 additional docks at state park lakes and waterways.
Contact Beth Ruth, 614-265-6860
Individual parks report local "color" each week to be posted on department Web-site.
Information for educators that includes environmental education activities guide, presentation ideas, activity extenders, and related class projects. Consists of interactive techniques that are inexpensive, easy to make and use. Download the online version (.pdf format) by clicking here.
Scouting Outing (Boy Scouts)
Weekend event targeting boy scouts for outdoor skill building activities; held the first weekend of October at Burr Oak State Park, 740-767-3570
PARKS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Started in 1982 to offer increased public service opportunities to visitors; almost 6,000 volunteers provide a variety of services such as interpretive programs, campground support, trail maintenance, litter pickup, etc. Options: Individuals, Groups, Campground Hosts, Green Teens, Junior volunteers, Adopt-A-Trail. Offered to people with special skills or a specific age group while retaining the flexibility to meet the unique needs of each park and volunteer. Volunteers, whether individuals or groups, can get involved in the several programs. Contact Jim Henahan at 614/265-6549.
Interpretation: Help visitors discover the natural world, develop programs, conduct guided walks, present slide programs, help make park programs accessible and enjoyable to all. Training provided by naturalist staff.
Public Outreach: Publicity for special events, answering public inquiries, desktop publishing.
Park Beautification: Trail maintenance, gardening, litter cleanups, and tree planting - ideal for families, clubs or individuals.
Green Teens: Ages 16-18; perform land management projects to beautify parks and provide benefits to wildlife, includes bluebird boxes, prairie plantings, butterfly/bee gardens, and wildlife feeding stations with observation blinds. Ideal for science clubs, nature clubs, scout troops, youth groups, and individuals.
Junior Volunteers: Ages 5-15, work under the supervision of their parents or legal guardians who are also volunteers on a variety of park projects.
Adopt-A-Trail: Develop, improve and maintain hiking, horse-riding, and mountain bike trails; training and instruction on proper trail maintenance techniques, all tools and equipment provided. Ideal for youth groups, special interest clubs, church organizations, families, schools, as well as individuals. Volunteers are recognized with signs on trails.
Campground Host: Assist and welcome campers, provide information about the park, lead hayrides, educational programs, craft workshops. Free campsite provided. Contact park manager for availability and additional details.
Research: Increase knowledge of park's resources and thereby aid in its effective management; includes park history, vegetation cover mapping, compiling flora and fauna checklists, geologic studies, research into animal populations.