TNC Ohio donates nearly 100 acres to Metro Parks for Battelle Darby Creek
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks (Metro Parks) continue their decades-long collaboration with the recent transfer of 101 acres of land that will be added to Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. Metro Parks will purchase 5 acres; TNC will donate the remainder.
“2020 proved how invaluable it is to have safe, accessible places for people to get outside and to connect with nature,” said Tim Moloney, director of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. “Last year, more Central Ohioans than ever before enjoyed all that our Metro Parks have to offer. We are thrilled to receive this property from The Nature Conservancy, the latest in a partnership that spans more than 20 years.”
The property provides critical habitat for wildlife and green space for people to enjoy. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park features forests, prairies and wetlands as well as 13 miles of the Big and Little Darby creeks, designated as State and National Scenic Rivers in recognition of their outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values.
The transferred acres are also crossed by a tributary to Big Darby Creek, one that will be restored by TNC’s Ohio Mitigation Program to improve its health and provide better habitat for the plants and animals found there.
“Like the stream restoration that will take place on site, the story of how TNC acquired this land has many twists and turns, but that’s how conservation often happens,” said Bill Stanley, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “Several years ago we completed a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation to secure critical habitat for the federally-threatened northern long-eared bat. With funds remaining, TNC decided to purchase the property we’re now donating to Metro Parks. We were able to protect even more bat habitat while adding to one of the most cherished Metro Parks in central Ohio.
The Big Darby Creek has benefitted from this and other partnerships in the past, such as the donation of 90 acres in the headwaters to The Nature Conservancy by Honda of America Mfg., Inc. in November 2020. TNC currently owns 1,200 acres along the Big Darby and Little Darby Creeks and has helped Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks protect over 1,800 acres throughout central Ohio, including land that is now part of Clear Creek, Battelle Darby and Pickerington Ponds Metroparks.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.