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2014 Guide to Summer Fun Brochure 2014 GTSFB Thumbnail

Nature Preserves

These preserves are home to local wildlife and are a true testament to the beauty and wonder of nature. Our investments in these ecosystems make the recovery of rare and endangered species possible for all to enjoy. Take an adventure - it's a great way to spend your day.


Start an Adventure

Griggs Reservoir Nature PreserveWinter Camp Page
Hoover Nature PreserveWinter Camp Page
Kiwanis Riverway Park AreaWinter Camp Page
Oak Creek Nature PreserveWinter Camp Page
O'Shaughnessy Nature PreserveWinter Camp Page
Twin Lakes AreaWinter Camp Page
Woodward Park Nature PreserveWinter Camp Page


Public Meeting

The Nature Preserves Advisory Council meets on the first Monday of every month at 6pm. These meetings are open to the public.
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Rules and Regulations

These rules are designed to help protect our wildlife nature preserves while allowing citizens to enjoy them. Learn moreWinter Camp Page

2013 Featured Species:

The Wild Indigo Duskywing Skipper Butterfly

The Wild Indigo Duskywing Skipper shares an interesting natural history with that of Columbus.  This once rare Ohio skipper was first discovered in Columbus in 1937 by one of Ohio’s early 20th Century Naturalist John Thomas.  He and his more famous brother Dr. Edward Thomas would visit what they called the “Central College Prairie” near Central College and Sunbury Roads. 


ButterflyFrom 1937 to 1941 the brothers recorded the then rare Wild Indigo Duskywing Skipper.   This species’ larvae, it was noted, feed on an equally rare plant, White Indigo.  This plant is found sparingly in Ohio’s remaining prairie openings.  Both the skipper and the Central College Prairie were forgotten for decades. 


The Construction of Hoover Dam may have fragmented the site and along with other plant invasions the plant and skipper were no longer found.  Then in 2002 this remnant prairie site was revisited by a lepidopterist who found that both the plant and the skipper were still there.  The prairie, now part of Hoover Reservoir and designated a Nature Preserve, is being restored by City of Columbus.


Starting in the 1980’s many state highway systems in the Eastern U.S. started planting Crown Vetch as a soil retention plant.  As it turns out the Wild Indigo skippers will use Crown Vetch as a host plant.  Both host plants are legumes.  The skipper invaded Ohio and most of the middle of the country. It’s now a common wide spread skipper known today from most of Ohio’s 88 counties.  


Scientific Names
Wild Indigo Skipper, Erynnis
White Indigo Plant, Baptisia leucantha
Crown Vetch, Coronilla varia L.