The New Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center is Open!
The 14,000 sq foot nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, is now open. This 7,000-acre park is most noted for the two State and Federal Scenic Rivers that meander through the park – Big and Little Darby Creeks. A true jewel of nature, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park also boasts 33 miles of trails that wind through acres of forests and prairies and along wetlands and streams, providing educational and recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors each year.
With the addition of the nature center, Metro Parks will be able to provide even more opportunities for visitors to learn about and explore the vast Darby Creek Watershed. Also it will help visitors understand the role of Metro Parks in preserving these vital habitats. The 14,000 square-foot nature center includes two classrooms, a 53-foot long living stream, interactive and static interpretive exhibits and a space that can accommodate up to 120 people for meetings. The exhibits highlight the natural and cultural history of the area. Visitors can learn about Big Darby Creek and native wildlife including bison, migratory birds and beaver. Several of the exhibits highlight the scientific inquiry process that school students use to investigate and propose explanations for scientific problems. The 53-foot Living Stream, a freshwater aquarium, lets visitors watch some of the aquatic and terrestrial life that is in Big Darby Creek. Numerous riffles, shallow pools, gravel bars and a large deep pool are streamscaped with plants, fish and mussels, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates showcasing the rich biodiversity of the Darby Watershed.
Step outside the nature center and look for six female bison standing in an area where their ancestors once roamed more than 100 years ago. Thanks to a partnership with The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Metro Parks was able to bring them to the park to help visitors learn more about bison, North America’s largest land animal, and the prairies where they graze. In fall and winter, they are in the cool season pasture just in front of the nature center and in spring and summer they can be found rolling in the wallows of the restored prairies just east of Darby Creek Drive.
For the operating hours of the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center Click Here.