In the fast moving urban life, often we get so carried away and engrossed with our daily lives that we lose our connection with nature. We may not consciously realize it but our body and soul longs for that connection – whether it be in the form of a serene vista of a natural landscape, a natural body of water, or simply a sight of a pretty bird or a butterfly. We tend to think that in order to find nature, we need to fly to someplace far or at least drive outside the concrete jungles of the city. While it’s true that the ever-increasing human development of cities has shrunk our natural areas, we would be grossly mistaken in thinking that one can’t find nature within the city. This erroneous notion makes us overlook or ignore the amazing beauty of nature we have within our cities – right in our backyards!
We are lucky to be living in a city that has so much to offer! Columbus has 19 Metro Parks – each offering a different landscape and environment. In addition to just visiting one of those parks to enjoy a good hike along the many trails or simply relax in the midst of nature, the parks also host lots of exciting public programs – both recreational and educational – throughout the year as well as opportunities to get involved. Preservation Parks of Delaware County is another park system with beautiful parks and several programs and events. Ohio Department of Natural Resources holds several educational programs. In addition to those, there are numerous nature preserves scattered all over central Ohio.
Another program under the Project Nature initiative is the Brown Bag Lunch at Mirror Lake. It’s an informal educational event held at Mirror Lake at lunch time. We invite an expert in a particular field each time to lead the program. Bring your lunch to the Browning Amphitheater and join us to learn about the natural world around you!
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Project Nature is deeply grateful to all the experts who have generously given their time and valuable input to ensure the accuracy of content of the newsletter articles.
- Jen Moore, Naturalist, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
- Scott Brockman, (retired) Geologist, Ohio Geological Survey
- Dr. Mark Kleffner, Professor, School of Earth Sciences, OSU
- Chrissy Hoff, Naturalist, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
- MaLisa Spring, State Coordinator, Ohio Dragonfly Survey
- Christine Szymanski, Central Ohio Stream Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Sara Ernst, Conservation Implementation Specialist, Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
- Marne Titchennel, Program Specialist, Wildlife, OSU Extension
- Kathy Smith, Program Director, Forestry, OSU Extension
- Dale Gnidovec, Curator, Orton Geological Museum, OSU
- Dr. Robert Klips, Associate Professor Emeritus, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, OSU
- Cameron Svoboda, Naturalist, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
- Darlene Sillick, Cornell NestWatch Chapter Coordinator
- Paula Ziebarth, NestWatch Coordinator, OBS- Delaware County Chapter
- Dr. Abhay Satoskar, MD, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Experimental Pathology and Department of Microbiology, OSU