Groveport Nature Center could expand

 
 Photo courtesy of the village of Groveport
 Metro Parks Naturalist Jill Snyder in the Groveport Nature Center.

Groveport Village Councilman Ed Rarey wants to see the Groveport Nature Center move from its place in the rear of the historic log house in Heritage Park to the former Hamler home located in the eastern portion of the park.

"We have some great programming for families at Heritage Park and the Nature Center," said Rarey at Groveport Village Council’s Sept. 22 meeting. "I’d like to see the Nature Center moved to the Hamler property. The programming could be unlimited and would draw many, many people to Groveport. I see it as a great educational tool."

 

He asked council and village administrative officials to consider the move.

The former Hamler property

The village purchased the former Hamler property, located at 613 Wirt Road, for approximately $70,000 in 2007 and made it part of Heritage Park. The 900 square foot house on the site, which Rarey would like to see become the new home of the Nature Center, was built in 1941.

"We could use our village personnel to do much of the necessary remodeling," said Rarey.

One aspect of the remodeling that could prove costly would be bringing the house up to meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.

About the Groveport Nature Center

The Groveport Nature Center was dedicated in the small rear room of the Groveport Log House in Heritage Park on Apple Butter Day in 2003. The Nature Center is a cooperative effort of the village and Metro Parks.

According to Groveport Community Affairs Director Linda Haley the village provides building maintenance, utilities, security, general operational support, staff (Village Naturalist Tina Dillman) and some of the smaller display items. The village  naturalist offers two to three programs per week at the Center.

"An exhibit organized by the naturalist at Groveport Town Hall in May brought in more than 30 school groups," said Haley. "It’s anticipated that another nature exhibit to be held in October will be equally popular."

Haley said Metro Parks provides naturalists for several programs per month, promotion through regional publications, exhibit and educational materials.  

 

"Much of the exhibit materials for art gallery shows also comes from Metro Parks," said Haley. "Since there is no nature center at Three Creeks Metro Park, naturalists from that site consider the Heritage Park Nature Center their primary educational center."

Haley said the 2008 budget for the Nature Center is $10,980, which provides funding for the Nature Fair (June), flowers for Keep Groveport Beautiful Day (spring plantings), pest control, summer movies, and smaller expenses (e.g. rabbit food.)  The village naturalist’s salary is in the Community Affairs department budget.  

"The Nature Center’s relationship with the 18 counties in the Seal of Ohio Girl Scout Council is a revenue producing program for the village, as fees for up to 100 participants range from $4 to $18 per Scout," said Haley.

Next steps

 

Council and village administrative officials will review Rarey’s suggestion and discuss the matter further at future meetings.

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