New nature center debuts at Cowan Lake State Park combines learning with education


Combines learning with education

News Journal



Park Naturalist Amanda Walski, far right, leads the kids in an activity identifying local flowers at the opening of the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.

Park Naturalist Amanda Walski, far right, leads the kids in an activity identifying local flowers at the opening of the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Cowan Lake Park Manager Melissa Clark, left, and Park Naturalist Amanda Walski speak to a crowd before the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Park Naturalist Amanda Walski tells the crowd of onlookers how excited she is about the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Mary Mertz, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director, center, is joined by Cowan Lake personnel and local youngsters in cutting the ribbon for the nature center.


John Hamilton | News Journal

ODNR Director Mary Mertz, right, chats with visitors at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Some feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Some feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Isadore D’Cruz, right, shows off her wingspan to ODNR Director Mary Mertz during the nature center opening.


John Hamilton | News Journal

COWAN LAKE STATE PARK — The colorful sights and songs of Ohio’s natural world are on display at the newly renovated nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. Remodeled inside and out, the nature center is open and ready to educate visitors this summer.

“Our vision for each nature center is to spark interest in learning about nature and encourage conservation of Ohio’s precious natural resources,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz. “Investing in our nature centers increases an appreciation for being outside and learning more about the natural world around us.”

Mertz was joined by staff from the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, project partners, park volunteers, and park visitors to officially reopen the new nature center. After welcome remarks from Mertz, guests were treated to a guided tour of the new exhibits by the park’s naturalist and park manager.

Highlights of the new exhibits, which were designed by the Cincinnati-based Reverb Art & Design, include displays related to the wildlife found at Cowan Lake including the bald eagle and pollinators as well as a wingspan mural.

The nature center also offers visitors a chance to safely view native wildlife up close. Currently, it houses a corn snake, spotted salamander, and several woodland box turtles. An adjacent raptor center features several birds of prey, including a barred owl and American kestrel.

Improvements to the building’s interior and exterior include new floors and lighting, a new roof, sidewalks, and entrance ramps that make the center more accessible.

To learn more about Cowan State Park’s nature center and other facilities, including overnight accommodations, please visit https://bit.ly/2SXEWzq .

Park Naturalist Amanda Walski, far right, leads the kids in an activity identifying local flowers at the opening of the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0083-1.jpgPark Naturalist Amanda Walski, far right, leads the kids in an activity identifying local flowers at the opening of the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_Nature-Center-at-Cowan-Lake-1.jpgJohn Hamilton | News Journal

Cowan Lake Park Manager Melissa Clark, left, and Park Naturalist Amanda Walski speak to a crowd before the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0014-1.jpgCowan Lake Park Manager Melissa Clark, left, and Park Naturalist Amanda Walski speak to a crowd before the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

Park Naturalist Amanda Walski tells the crowd of onlookers how excited she is about the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0025-1.jpgPark Naturalist Amanda Walski tells the crowd of onlookers how excited she is about the opening of the nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

Mary Mertz, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director, center, is joined by Cowan Lake personnel and local youngsters in cutting the ribbon for the nature center.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0050-1.jpgMary Mertz, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director, center, is joined by Cowan Lake personnel and local youngsters in cutting the ribbon for the nature center. John Hamilton | News Journal

ODNR Director Mary Mertz, right, chats with visitors at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0084-1.jpgODNR Director Mary Mertz, right, chats with visitors at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

Some feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0089-1.jpgSome feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

Some feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0092-2.jpgSome feathered friends reside at the new nature center at Cowan Lake State Park. John Hamilton | News Journal

Isadore D’Cruz, right, shows off her wingspan to ODNR Director Mary Mertz during the nature center opening.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_DSC_0080-1.jpgIsadore D’Cruz, right, shows off her wingspan to ODNR Director Mary Mertz during the nature center opening. John Hamilton | News Journal
Combines learning with education

News Journal