Nature | Stratford Ecological Center in southern Delaware County an eco-friendly oasis
Naturalist Jim McCormac wrote about Stratford for the Columbus Dispatch on 4-4-2021. See excerpt below and read the full article here. Jim also writes about nature at www.jimmccormac.blogspot.com.
Just northeast of Bunty Station and Liberty roads in southern Delaware County lies Stratford Ecological Center, one of central Ohio’s natural gems. The 236-acre property is a mosaic of woodland, wetland, meadows and an eco-friendly farm.
Stratford launched in 1990, but its genesis dates to the mid-1980s. Founders Jack and Louise “Omie” Warner’s daughter, Gale, a conservationist and accomplished big-picture thinker, had planted the seed for a land lab.
When development loomed, the Warners leaped into action and ensured that the land would be protected. Stratford Ecological Center was born, and it has hosted tens of thousands of visitors since. About 16,000 people visit annually, and more than half are kids.
The vision statement of Stratford clearly defines its mission: “ … dedicated to the education of children and adults in understanding the relationships between living things and their environment, thereby fostering an appreciation of the land and all life that depends on it.”
Simply Living has a long and enjoyable relationship with the Stratford Ecological Center. Their events are often included in our calendar – their maple syrup taps in the Spring, annual Fall Harvest Festival (where Simply Living is often one of the exhibitors), their monthly Book Club discussions – and they are a wonderful field trip experience for children and their adults.
Stratford is also a strong partner with the local sustainability group in Delaware. Simply Living member Sheila Fox co-founded Sustainable Delaware 10 years ago as part of Simply Living’s Transition Hub initiative. Sheila moved to Columbus 3 years ago but Sustainable Delaware continues to grow with their mission to “educate ourselves and our community on green practices and local buying principles.” Stratford’s programs are a natural fit for their mission.
Stratford hosts community events in their main building and they are beginning to open up with in person events on the farm. See their calendar of public events here: The Center is located at 3083 Liberty Road, Delaware OH 43015. . For more information, visit https://stratfordecologicalcenter.org or call 740-363-2548.