The Grange Audubon Center

We have checked the first item off our "Never have we ever" list and I am happy to say we have found a new Columbus favorite in the Scioto Audubon Metropark. Specifically, we just spent our time at the Grange Audubon Center. Another day (when it's not 90 degrees), we will try the rest of the park. 

A Little history: The park lies on the Whittier Peninsula, which used to be an incredibly sad-looking industrial brownfield. 100 years of warehouses, asphalt plants, and railroad use rendered it useless. Until Metroparks and the Audubon worked together to create a gorgeous haven for wildlife and city-dwellers. 

We loved crossing the bridge over the very busy railroad track, and it would be fun to find a train-watching place from the park. 

The Audubon Center has a cool, industrial feel to it, and a little wetland area out front. Right away, we saw groundhogs and heard a million little birds, but she was most interested in the daisies.

If you take that dock around to the right, you'll come out to a fun surprise!

I've lost all hope that my kids will wear shoes. Oh well. 

This path goes under the dock and comes out to a shaded sandbox. 

On the back of these tile mosaics are the animals represented in the art. It's called Circles of Pollination, dedicated to the pollinators.

Way past the tree, you can see an observation deck over the Scioto River. They were painting the deck today, so we couldn't go out. But we saw several canoes and kayaks enjoying it. 

The sandbox! This kept them very busy, until Rhys started dumping sand anywhere he shouldn't (i.e.: his sister's head, the flowers)

We were going to walk down to the park area, but it was unbelievably hot today. So, we headed inside the building. 

We were greeted by the friendliest man who showed us all these native species of turtles and toads.

Trying the microscope...

Have you ever seen a smooth, softshell turtle?! I had never seen one, and was fascinated. It is unlike anything I've ever seen. And the snapping turtle sat with his mouth open, waiting for a minnow to swim by.

What else is here?  Our new friend told us about the playroom, specifically saying "You can be as loud as you want!" He gave us a little tour and told us about the story time we just missed (After a very crowded story time somewhere else last week, I was wary, but he said only one family came to theirs!)

Behind her, that is a huge play/tunnel structure. Too bad she isn't having any fun.

I thought she would be scared of the specimens, but she went right for them. Inside the cave, there were puppets and puzzles. 

We will go back again when it is a little cooler and we can explore more outside. I saw the Adventure backpacks all lined up on hooks, waiting for little explorers to come take one. We will pack a lunch next time, as I saw several shaded areas for picnicking. Who wants to come with us next time?

The Grange Audubon Center (check that link for hours--they are closed on Mondays!)
505 West Whittier
Columbus OH 43215


Anonymous said...

My 8th grade students went on a field trip here and they loved it! Something fun for every age!!

GIAC said...

Thanks for visiting the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Stacie. Please bring your children back for another visit soon. We love your pictures!

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