Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Discovery Center’

Spring Has Sprung at The Dawes Arboretum

Dawes Entrance

This sign greets you at the entrance. You have arrived!

Sunshine beckons nature enthusiasts to venture outside for fresh air, a walk or a drive. The Dawes Arboretum near Newark provides the perfect escape. Here you can walk the paths or slowly drive through their four mile auto trail without hurrying as speed limit is 15 mph.

Dawes Daffodil setting

Expect to find flowers, like daffodils in the spring, in their All Seasons Garden.

     Azaleas and magnolias bloomed around every bend, it seemed, on a recent spring trip there. Daffodils flourished in their gardens and banks were covered in a blanket of violets.

     The Dawes Arboretum began through the efforts of Beman and Bertie Dawes back in 1929. Due to their love of trees and shrubs, they wanted to create a place where a large variety of trees would have a home. This nature haven is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of trees, history and the natural world.

Dawes Visitors Center

Begin your visit at the Visitors Center under a century old beech tree. Here you will find  a Discovery Center and Bird Watching Garden.

     Their Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit and pick up a map to guide you through the 1800 acres. It includes a nice Discovery Center to learn more about the plants and animals in this part of Ohio. A viewing window overlooks the Certified Wildlife Habitat outside so you can watch birds and small animals as they live in their natural world.

Dawes Azaleas

Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Azalea Glen.

     All-Seasons Garden right behind the Visitors Center features seasonal flowers throughout the year from daffodils to mums. Name plates are found near the flowers and trees for easy identification. There are many places to sit, relax and enjoy the peacefulness as you take time to smell the roses.

Dawes Summer Home

Daweswood House Museum gives a glimpse of life in the summertime with the original Dawes family.

     Their summer home, Daweswood House, can still be toured on weekends. The garden at the home maintains the flowers that Bertie planted long ago. They’re accurate as Bertie kept a journal describing what she was planting.

Dawes Education Center

The newest addition is the Zand Education Center for special horticultural programs.

     A new addition near the home expands their educational ability. The Zand Center provides a learning garden to hold classes for students mainly, but can also be used for adults. Many field trips stop here to learn about the bonsai trees or give children an opportunity to create their own planter.

Dawes Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden creates a peaceful scene with its rocks, pond and flowering trees.

     One of my favorite places to wander here is the Japanese Garden. The peacefulness surrounds you as you walk around the lake with blossoming trees and stone paths.

Dawes Hedge

The trail passes the six foot high hedge spelling DAWES ARBORETUM.

Dawes Tower

The Observation Tower gives a great view of the grounds and the hedge lettering.

     A highlight of the arboretum is their 2,040 foot long, six foot high hedge forming the letters DAWES ARBORETUM. Beman had this designed for the enjoyment of planes flying into the Columbus Airport. An observation tower close by gives a great view of the hedge letters.

Dawes Cypress Swamp

Bald Cypress Swamp is the northernmost cypress swamp in North America.

     A surprise waits in the form of Bald Cypress Swamp, not something you would expect to find in Ohio. This is thought to be the most northern cypress swamp in North America. The bumps you see coming out of the water have given these trees a special nickname – Trees with Knees. A boardwalk gives guests a chance to get an up close look at the bald cypress trees as well as the creatures in the water.

Dawes Picnic

A picnic under the blossoming cherry trees makes for a perfect family outing.

     Families were enjoying the day as children played on the banks. Picnics were popular. The most popular activity here is walking, with over twelve miles of hiking trails. People were walking their dogs, pushing their little ones in strollers, or listening to their headsets while they did some power walking. The paths are easy with most being paved.

Dawes Magnolia Drive

Magnolia blossoms presented a pleasant surprise around one bend in the Auto Trail.

     Meander through the grounds any time of the year surrounded by the beauties of nature at Dawes Arboretum with over 16,000 living plants. It’s open 362 days a year and admission is free. You’ll want to come back each season!

Dawes Arboretum is located off I-70 at exit 132, OH-13 North. After about five miles north, the arboretum can be found on the left side of the road at 7770 Jacksontown Road. If you enjoy nature, you are certain to enjoy a visit here.

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Summer Fun Awaits at Oglebay’s Good Zoo

This red-railed hawk travels as a Good Zoo representative from Raptor Protection.

This red-tailed hawk travels as a Good Zoo representative from their Raptor Protection program.

The Red Panda is a zoo favorite.

The Red Panda is a zoo favorite.

Children and animals have a special bonding so it becomes only natural that children enjoy visiting the zoo. Oglebay’s Good Zoo, a small zoo in Wheeling, West Virginia, gives children opportunity to get some up close and personal contact with many of their animals.The zoo was named in memory of Philip Mayer Good, a seven year old boy who left this world too soon.

 

In 1977, Philip’s parents, Barbara and Larry Good, who managed the family business of L.S. Good in Wheeling, sponsored getting the 30 acres established as a place that all children could enjoy. Thousands of contributions poured in from the community, while school children collected jars of pennies to help the cause.

Originally, the animals at the zoo came from North America, but over the years endangered species have been added to the viewing area. That expanded list now includes: the Red Panda, Grevy’s Zebra, African Wild Dogs, and Tamarin Monkeys.

Today the Good Zoo houses over five hundred animals. A walk down the shaded sidewalk fills a child’s heart and step with wonder. What animal will they see around the next bend?

C.P. Huntington Train Ride

C.P. Huntington Train Ride

While the animals are the most important part of the Good Zoo, a ride on the C.P. Huntington Train takes visitors on a mile and a half ride through the edge of the zoo where many animals can be spotted. Everyone enjoys a ride on the open air train while the toot-toot of the whistle brings cheers from those on board.

Walk with the kangaroos.

Walk with the kangaroos.

Two of the newer exhibits are The Outback and Lorikeet Landing. The Outback contains Kangaroo Creek Mining Company, where you can pan for gemstones and fossils. A “G’Day Mates” sign welcomes you to an enclosed area with a sidewalk, permitting guests to walk within a couple feet of the kangaroos. The aviary section at Lorikeet Landing allows feeding the beautiful Rainbow Lorikeets while walking in their midst.

Take a break at the playground.

Take a break at the playground.

Let the children run off some of their extra energy at the outstanding playground. Here they can climb up ladders into forts, or crawl through tunnels until they’re ready to walk on to the next animal adventure.

Donkeys play with powder and box at the Red Barn.

Donkeys like toys too. Here they play with a box and roll in the powder at the Red Barn.

The Red Barn has always been a favorite spot where friendly domesticated animals reside. Here you might see donkeys, goats, and llamas. Some you can get close enough to pet.

On the grounds, a Veterinary Hospital provides care for all the animals plus those in Raptor Rehabilitation. This program cares for injured animals found in the area. Owls and vultures had broken wings that needed repaired, while a red-tailed hawk became a permanent resident after the loss of one eye.

Find hands on learning at the Discovery Center.

Find hands-on learning at the Discovery Center.

But there’s more inside! The Good Zoo lists conservation and education as their key features. A hands-on Discovery Center lets students observe small animals such as dart frogs, turtles and tamarin monkeys. The Benedum Theater & Planetarium shares a wide variety of programs about nature and the universe.

Engineers ready the O-gauge trains for the summer season.

Operators ready the O-gauge trains for the summer season.

A special section that entertains children and dads is their train display started in 1981. Here you will find West Virginia’s largest public O-gauge model train exhibit with 900′ of track. Detailed buildings located on mountainous terrain combine with Lionel trains to create exciting viewing from every angle.

All through the year, the Good Year has activities which delight youngsters and parents alike. These include fun experiences at an Easter egg hunt, “Boo at the Zoo”, and  “The Good Zoo Lights Up for You” during the Christmas season.

Sounds like the fun continues all year long at the Good Zoo.

Oglebay’s Good Zoo is located just off I-70 near Wheeling, West Virginia. Take Exit 2A and follow Bethany Pike, then make a left on WV-88 North. Signs along the way help greatly with directions.

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