I grew up going to Battelle Darby Creek Park (aka Big Darby), we thought it was great. Compared to now, though? Wow. This park has come along way. On our last trip to Ohio, we headed over to Battelle Darby Creek Park to see the Bison and the Nature Center. This park spans 20 miles of riparian forests along the Big and Little Darby Creeks. It includes 7,000 acres of prairies and forests. As kid I felt this park had the best canoeing, hiking and the absolute best sledding hill around! These are all still there and of course, there are picnic areas, pet trails and playground equipment
everywhere, not to mention the Environmental Study Sites and Nature Programs.
The Bison can be seen in winter from the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center. The Bison can be viewed from the deck of the center, and it serves as their winter paddock. The Nature Center can be found at 1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway OH 43119.
We were able to see them only with the telescope on the deck of the center, but it was still pretty neat.
The Nature Center itself is really amazing! There are many hands on areas for the kids to learn about the nature. A giant wall that allows kids to place pictures of animals in their habitats on the wall.
There is a pelt room, full of the pelts of all the native animals that you might find in the Ohio Valley. Be prepared for this room, as a former zoological educator I used confiscated animal pelts to teach audiences about important animals for years, but I still find it difficult to see. The educators and volunteers around the room will gladly explain to you where they came from.
The Riverbed Water Table is the highlight of the exhibit. The table stretches the length of the room and show the different levels of the creek. There are some really neat places where the kids can stick their heads into a plexiglass box from under the table so they can see right into the creek.
If you have a chance, this is a fabulous (free) way to spend a fun, education afternoon.
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