(Posted April 16, 2018)
By Christine Bryant, Staff Writer
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park will mark Earth Day with several opportunities for families to learn about the planet they call home.
The celebration kicks off at 1 p.m. April 22 with a program at the Nature Center. During “Cruddy Creek,” visitors will discover why rivers and creeks get polluted and how they can help to prevent this from happening.
“In the Nature Center, we have a living stream, and we put a bunch of items in it so you can see what happens if you do that in nature,” said Deb Ruppersburg, a senior naturalist at the park.
At a second program slated for 2:30 p.m., visitors will hear about the need to preserve the planet and the importance of plants. Guests are invited to bring a clean 2-liter bottle to make a flower pot.
“They’ll learn how to recycle and make a planter where they can grow a plant in their house,” Ruppersburg said. “A high school volunteer will be doing this program, and she’s put a lot of research into it.”
Throughout both programs, COSI will present demonstrations on acid rain and rainwater, composting, and pollination and bees.
Ruppersburg said visitors also can volunteer to help pull garlic mustard.
“It’s an invasive plant that is choking out our native plants in the forest,” she said. “If someone wants to help with that, we’ll show them what it looks like, give them a bag, and they can go for it.”
The park’s Earth Day activities are free and open to any age group. No reservations are required. The Nature Center is located off Jack McDowell Way near the Prairie Bison Pasture off Darby Creek Drive, just outside of West Jefferson.
Two other Metro Parks will hold Earth Day activities as well. Blendon Woods will hold a 1.5-mile Earth Day night hike through the woods at 8 p.m., beginning at the Nature Center.
At 6 p.m. at Sharon Woods, volunteers will help pull invasive plants and pick up litter along the trails and around waterways. Volunteers for this program should register at earthdaycolumbus.org.
For additional information, go to metroparks.net or call (614) 878-7106.