Prairie Oaks to Open Reclaimed Quarry Site
in Spring 2006
By: Leslie Phillips, Assistant Park Manager Prairie Oaks Metro Park
In January 2005 Metro Parks officially took possession of the Olen Quarry on Amity Road. Since then it has been anything but quiet there. One of the first things accomplished was to give the new area a name. Because of the sharp bend in the Darby Creek at the site of the quarry, the area was named Darby Bend Lakes.
After several months of intensive studies and planning, the first project began with construction of a pedestrian bridge across the Darby Creek. When completed this bridge will tie the Darby Bend Lakes area (Franklin Co., Brown Twp.) to the west side of Prairie Oaks Metro Parks.
In June efforts began with work in the Darby Bend Lakes area constructing a main roadway, 3 parking lots, over 1 additional mile of the Darby Creek Greenway Trail (a pedestrian/bicycle trail) from the new Darby Creek bridge to Beach Rd./Amity Rd., and about ˝ mile access trail from the new Darby Creek bridge to Amity Rd./Patterson Rd. (The first phase of the Darby Creek Greenway Trail opened in July 2005. It runs from the new Darby Creek bridge south to I-70 on the Madison Co. side of Prairie Oaks.)
Throughout September and October 2005, contractors will be moving topsoil and establishing grass in some of the main areas of Darby Bend Lakes. November is projected to begin construction of two picnic shelters while late Winter-early Spring construction of a restroom will begin. In the mean time, large-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and perch have been stocked in the three lakes at Darby Bend Lakes making the potential for ideal fishing wonderful.
The most common question the Prairie Oaks staff gets everyday, is: “When will the quarries open?” Construction has actually gone very well. So that we can get the picnic shelters completed and some of the vegetation well established, the Metro Parks plans to open the Darby Bend Lake area in mid-late Spring of 2006.
The Metro Park is actively trying to preserve the cultural history of the area. If anyone has information on the Indian mounds, early settlers or any other cultural information of this area, please let us know. The Prairie Oaks Metro Park Office is located at 3225 Georgesville-Plain City Rd., West Jefferson, OH or for more information, call: 614-879-0020.
Presentation: Conservation Easements
A Conservation Tool for Brown Township
The regular Wednesday, October 26th Brown Township Trustee meeting will include a presentation and a question and answer session with the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District Staff regarding the conservation easement program to protect natural resources, particularly on streamside locations. Related economic incentive programs will also be discussed. The regular meeting begins at 7:30 pm at the Brown Township Fire Station. All interested Brown Township residents and property
owners are invited to attend.
Where Do Your Tree Leaves Go?
Storm water comes from rain and melting snow that does not soak into the ground. It flows over rooftops, paved areas, and sloped lawns to storm drains in our streets and then flows to our streams, creeks, and rivers. Pollutants from the streets and gardens are carried in storm water.
Though we may not think about it too often, or not at all, how we care for our lawns and yards directly affects our streams and rivers, which also affects our drinking water. Whether we live near or far from a river, eventually our storm water will end in a river. Simple solutions for lawn care can improve water quality and habitat quality in our waterways. We can easily contribute to enhancing our rivers.
Leaves and grass clippings left on sidewalks, driveways and roads are washed into drain basins and field tile where they decay. This decaying plant material releases bacteria, oxygen-consuming materials, nitrogen, and phosphorus into our waterways. These nutrients throw off the fragile balance of plant and animal life in rivers.
Leaves and grass clippings may also accumulate and obstruct storm drains, causing them to function improperly, or even flood. Small steps to protect our waterways from these pollutants include:
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn.
- Use lawn bags to dispose of yard waste.
- Compost grass clippings and leaves in the backyard; some communities have composting centers available.
- Sweep up or recycle clippings that are on sidewalks, driveways and road surfaces.
These four simple solutions to protect storm water can lead to happier and healthier people, rivers, plants, and wildlife.
Trustee Meeting Dates Changed
Trustee meeting dates have been changed to the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for the remainder of 2005. This change was necessary to resolve scheduling conflicts. The meetings are open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room at the Brown Township Fire House, 2491 Walker Road.
THE HISTORY OF BROWN TOWNSHIP
Fact or Fiction? When the Columbus and Xenia Railroad began operations in 1850, J. R. Davis of Columbus, Ohio was employed as its Chief Engineer. A problem that railroads were encountering at the time was with cattle standing on the tracks. They were often impaled by locomotives and carried on to the next stop where this unsightly carcass was the first thing awaiting passengers would see.
J. R. was on a train traveling through western Franklin County one day when a farmer plowing a field in Brown Township caught his eye. Watching the plow turn up the earth gave him an inspiration. What if he were to take two plows facing opposite directions and mount them on the front of the locomotive to deflect cattle away from the train?
He went to work on this idea and after his device was ready, he returned to the area to test it. Soon enough a bull challenged the locomotive and was swept off the track. His successful creation, which an observer to this event named the “cowcatcher,” became a feature on trains throughout the world. Unfortunately for Mr. Davis, he didn’t bother to patent this idea and consequently never received a penny for his very useful invention.
Contributors to this township history were Ray Bradley and Sandy Andromeda.