Darby Creek Day

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
On Sept. 30, hundreds of nature lovers from across the region traveled to the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park for Darby Creek Day, an annual event that celebrates the anniversary of the vital watershed’s designation as a Scenic River. For close to three hours, children and adults alike partook in earthen craft activities such as painting with soil found throughout the state and country and trying their hand at ancient hunting and recreational activities such as archery, fly-fishing and spear throwing. In addition to all of the fun and games to be had at the event, there was also an educational component to Darby Creek Day as they had more than a dozen booths set up from animal and environmental advocacy groups and natural resource organizations to share information on conservation and ways the public can get involved with efforts to protect our local watersheds and environment. Among the educational groups that had set up an informational table at the event was the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Center. Here, Ohio State University graduate student Kaitlyn Ulin showcases a few of the mussels that are tasked with keeping the Darby Creek watershed healthy. The Darby Creek watershed covers an area of nearly 556 square miles through Franklin, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties and is home to over 86 species of fish (five of which are endangered) and 41 species of freshwater mollusk, eight of which are endangered.
Members of the Columbus Folk Music Society perform at the event.
John Riley helps his son Crew draw the bow at the archery station.
Travis Campbell, an outdoor adventure specialist with the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, gives a few pointers to Maddox Banning as he tries his hand at the atlatl station. Banning, a 5-year-old from Canal Winchester, said he found it “very hard” to throw the spear but otherwise enjoyed trying a new activity.
Metro Parks Aquatic Ecologist Andrew Boose supervises as his 1-year-old granddaughter, Wren Boose-Kramer, meets her first River Redhorse.
Wesley Sluga, a section supervisor with the stormwater program at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, educates the public on ways they can limit the pollutants that go into the water via the Enviroscape Watershed model.
Kim Strosnider, a naturalist with Metro Parks, and Marvel the gray rat snake smile for the camera.
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