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Ohio Northern University’s Metzger Nature Center celebrates 25th anniversary

Aug 21, 2014

ImageThe Ohio Northern University Metzger Nature Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an open house and picnic on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 1 p.m.

ONU alumni and guests will have the opportunity to tour the grounds and participate in a number of family-friendly outdoor activities led by ONU students.

The Metzger Nature Center and Bolon Hall, which is located at the center, were given to Ohio Northern University by the Hillier Family Foundation as a result of the charitable trust of the late Henry L. Metzger, who graduated from ONU with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1941, and Geraldine Metzger, who owned the farm property where the center is located.

The nature center is located 160 miles east of Ada on a 70-acre farm in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country near Ragersville and Stone Creek in Tuscarawas County. It includes a century-old farmhouse, natural springs and streams, dissected sandstone gulleys, mixed mesophytic forests, and fields.

The Metzger Nature Center is ideal for educational purposes and group retreats. It was designed as a field station for the biological sciences, offering opportunities for long-term research, several days of classes or in-depth observations. Classes in natural history, ichthyology, ornithology, animal behavior, entomology and science education have regularly used the facilities. Specialized weekend classes in various social science areas occur each year. The ONU Archeology Field School conducts archeological “digs” during May and June on the property and in the region. In addition, co-curricular groups with interests in conservation, nature, natural resources and related objects – such as the Outdoors Club – find it appealing. Groups as diverse as the Joint Engineering Council, biological and allied health sciences faculty, Ohio College Registrars Association, Student Senate, student affairs staff, and members of the University chapel groups are among those utilizing the center on a regular basis.

The property serves as an active arboretum because of the variety and the maturity of the trees. The western Appalachian location of the center provides vegetation and topography that are a dramatic contrast to the glaciated region near the ONU’s main campus. 

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