COLLEGE CORNER, Ohio – Excitement and education are alive at the new nature center just unveiled at Hueston Woods State Park. Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Mary Mertz joined a group of children to officially open the new and improved center today.
“Time at one of our nature centers piques an interest in the natural world,” Director Mertz said. “I hope the displays throughout this building inspire people to build pollinator gardens, take a hike in the woods, or just encourage them to learn about the curious creatures that are all around us in Ohio’s great outdoors.”
In 2020, ODNR launched an initiative to improve the more than two dozen nature centers currently found in state parks.
The Hueston Woods nature center will take you on a journey through “Big Woods” themed exhibits. A walk along the wall will take you through all four seasons based on the nature preserve on the park’s property. At the tulip tree, you can uncover a tree’s past while learning how to count the rings and see what different shapes and colors mean behind the bark. Bats hidden in the wild black cherry tree demonstrate their vital role in our ecosystem. A “wall of live animals” houses some of Ohio’s native wildlife including reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Kids can also learn about the insects that buzz around them by studying the living beehive.
Outside, the ADA-accessible path allows visitors to explore the recently rebuilt raptor enclosure behind the current nature center. The enclosure is also the permanent home for a rough-legged hawk, several red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, turkey vultures, and two bald eagles.
People can enjoy everything from boating to hiking to horseback riding to fossil hunting at Hueston Woods State Park. Overnight guests can choose from deluxe lodge rooms, cozy cabins, or scenic campsites. Golfing, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking are also big draws to this park.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
High-Resolution Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWNUySs