COLLEGE CORNER, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) broke ground on a state-of-the-art nature center at Hueston Woods State Park on Friday, Oct. 1. Once complete, the new center will provide visitors with exciting nature-based educational experiences.
“I hope this new center will spark an interest in the outdoors for visitors of all ages,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “I am so excited to give our amazing naturalists a special place to connect with people, especially our younger visitors, and teach them about conservation, wildlife, and the natural world around them.”
In 2020, ODNR launched an initiative to improve the more than two dozen nature centers currently found in state parks. At Hueston Woods, the new building will include terrariums with native wildlife and Big Woods themed displays. Visitors will also be able to enjoy an improved bird-viewing area and an overview of the park’s vast geological history. Construction is expected to be complete in May of 2022.
The current nature center will remain open during construction so park naturalists can continue to provide great programming. Visitors also can explore the recently rebuilt raptor enclosure behind the current nature center. The enclosure is also the permanent home for a rough-legged hawk, several red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, turkey vultures, and two bald eagles.
People can enjoy everything from boating to hiking to horseback riding to fossil hunting at Hueston Woods State Park. Overnight guests can choose from deluxe lodge rooms, cozy cabins, or scenic campsites. You can help make state parks even better by donating to the Ohio State Parks Foundation.