Groveport Naturalist Tina Dillman is
Groveport Nature Center is based in
Explore the wonder of the natural world through hands-on programs and educational displays designed to engage and educate your entire family.
Located in the Park’s historic Log House at 551 Wirt Road, the Groveport Nature Center regularly provides programming at no charge by trained naturalists. Programs include science topics, pioneer life, natural science and seasonal activities. Nature Center classes are coordinated by the Community Affairs Department in Groveport Town Hall and presented by either the Groveport Naturalist or a Metro Parks staff person.
Science Classes: Groveport Nature Center offers a “hands on” approach with programs that include botany, zoology, ornithology, entomology, ecology, geology, environmental science and local history. Most topics are re-enforced with a project the students take home.
Historical Programs: Heritage Park is a 15 acre historical park situated on the site of the Ohio and Erie Canal which served as the primary transportation route for the region from 1831-1900. Because of the historical significance of Heritage Park, the Groveport Nature Center offers special tours that explore local Groveport history. These tours are approximately one hour in length. The park includes a two-story Log House built in 1815, a hand-built stage, two shelter houses and Palm’s Pond. Adjacent to the Park is Groveport Cemetery with gravestones dating from 1809.
Living the Pioneer Life - Learn the pioneer way of life by exploring the unique features of the 1815 Log House and its 1850 Heirloom Garden, followed by the creation of your own pioneer craft. Crafts may include learning how to make homemade soap or paper, or how to work with the herbs in the garden for family medicine or cooking.
Lock 22 Tour- This canal tour starts at Blacklick Park, the original site of Groveport’s dry dock and boat yard. We’ll take the path through the park’s wooded areas to Groveport’s Canal Lock and discover the lock’s importance in the growth of Franklin County.
Groveport Cemetery Tour - History comes alive as you learn about local residents who once called Groveport home. We’ll also discuss gravestone art and its meanings.
John S. Rarey, the Horse Whisperer - This tour originates at the Groveport Heritage Museum in Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main Street. We’ll tour the museum and learn how Mr. Rarey’s unusual training program earned worldwide fame for Groveport and Mr. Rarey’s famous horse, Cruiser.
Specialized Programs: Heritage Nature Center offers the expertise and background to present a program to complement your meeting agenda, social event or school curriculum. We can work with your group to develop a program specifically designed to meet your curriculum or Scout badge requirements. Our naturalist can adapt lessons to meet any age level and group ability.
The Nature Center is open by appointment for school, Scout and homeschooling groups. For additional scheduled class topics, call Groveport Town Hall at 614.836.3333.
History of Nature Center
In 1974, the U.S. Postal Service purchased a lot and its house at Madison and Main Streets in the Village of Groveport for a new post office. Prior to the house’s demolition, postal officials discovered that the house was built of rough-hewn logs and subsequently offered the structure to the fledgling Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society.
Through the assistance of the U.S. Army Reserves, the house was relocated from Main Street to its current location in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road.
The Log House was originally two separate structures: a two-story residence built around 1815, and a smaller structure built around 1825 to serve as the summer kitchen. The larger room now serves as a rental and program facility; the smaller room serves as the city’s Nature Center, operated by the city’s Community Affairs Department in collaboration with MetroParks.
As the anchor for Heritage Park, the Log House now serves as the site for summer concerts and outdoor movies in a nearby performance center, picnics in an outdoor shelter at the adjacent Palms Pond and Apple Butter Day, a festival commemorating the pioneer spirit which built Groveport.
For additional information on Groveport Nature Center, please call Groveport Town Hall at 614-836-3333.