Audubon’sGrange Insurance Audubon Center
Credit: Randall Schieber
505 W. Whittier Street
Columbus, OH 43215Website
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Situated in Scioto Audubon Park a mere mile from downtown Columbus, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center is the product of a collaborative effort between the National Audubon Society, Franklin County Metro Parks and the City of Columbus to restore Whittier Peninsula. The conservation and nature education center opened in August 2009, giving new life to the industrial strip of land along the Scioto River.
In addition to being an important migratory bird corridor, the Scioto River is a major tributary to the Ohio River, which was identified by The Nature Conservancy as a globally important for both people and nature. The Conservancy is working throughout the Ohio River basin to protect the types of key natural attributes that will help to ensure human needs can be met over the long term.
Why It Matters
The Grange Insurance Audubon Center in the Scioto Audubon Metro Park is located in an Important Bird Area where thousands of birds migrating from Central and South America stop during their long journeys. 212 bird species have been recorded here.
In addition to migratory birds, urban humans flock to the Center, which provides urban nature programs and learning opportunities within walking or biking distance of children and families living in the city. With a 200-seat multipurpose room, library and three classrooms, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center is helping to build environmental awareness in the community, including the younger generation—dozens of schools are located within a five-mile radius.
Natural Treasures Landmark
Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Observation Deck at Grange Insurance Audubon Center and upload it to our site
Fun Things to Do and See
While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!
- Bring a notebook and prepare to jot down some of the eco-friendly suggestions from the displays in the main lobby. For instance, invest in lunch boxes! Did you know that one child produces up to 67 pounds of lunch trash per year?
- Enter the realm of make-believe and stage a theatrical production with your kids in the Center’s play area, complete with unique animal costumes and puppets.
- Stroll along the observation deck to get a better view of the marshland. Grab a magnifying glass and see if you can identify the multiple varieties of insects that abound in the area. How many dragonflies did you encounter?
- The outdoor natural playground provides an opportunity for the little ones in your family to expend some energy while soaking up some good old-fashioned Vitamin D.
- Settle the tykes down for story time in the Center’s comprehensive library/bird-watching area. Which book did your kids enjoy the most? Can you identify any of the birds that you can hear through the microphone outside?
- Let your canine companion mingle in the nearby two-acre dog park. Two different agility courses cater to breeds big and small.
- If you’re feeling especially competitive, strike up a friendly game of volleyball in the adjacent sand courts.
- Explore the surrounding forests, grassland prairies and wetlands when you trek the two-mile Scioto Greenway. Bring your binoculars and tell us if you spy any ospreys, wood ducks or herons.
- Test your rock-climbing skills nearby at the free 35-foot outdoor climbing wall, the largest free-standing climbing wall in North America. What’s the view of the river like from up there?