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Marion County Park District

Terradise Nature Preserve

Marion County Park District
222 West Center St, Marion, OH 43302

 

Phone: (740) 223-4161

Located a mile south of Caledonia Ohio off State Route 746 at the dead end of the Marion Williamsport Road, it includes a parking area, shelter house, and trails. A geocache is located on the property, and a launch area for canoes and kayaks is located across the river, on Whetstone River Road.

Trella Romine donated 12 acres for the park in 1998. In 2004 Ralph Boger donated an additional two acres that includes a former spring and ford across the Olentangy (formerly Whetstone) River.

On Trella’s passing in February of 2013, her son David Haldeman continues the tradition of welcoming guests to

tour the gardens at the annual Open Garden on Earth Day Weekend Sunday in April at 1536 Whetstone River Road North (on the other side of the river), or by appointment through the year.

 

From mid-April until mid-May more than 30 species of spring wildflowers are in bloom. The area has 40 species of native trees and shrubs.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources designated Terradise as an "outstanding environmental education area that possesses exceptional value in illustrating and interpreting the natural heritage of Ohio."

Trella explained "Traditionally, the eighteen acres on both sides of the Whetstone River that my late husband Ray Romine and I purchased in 1953 had been used by locals for access to the river from Whetstone River Road. Here we built our home in 1953 and Ray coined the word 'Terradise' for it since it seemed to us that we had found 'heaven on earth.' I have enjoyed living at Terradise since then.

"I didn't realize that we had usurped this special place until Frank Fields pointed it out to me during one of my Open Garden tours many years ago. He told me that it was a favorite fishing and picnic spot for generations of Claridon Township residents. This strengthened my resolve to preserve this mostly river bottom, pristine area, for the benefit of those who love the out-of-doors."

"Under the leadership of the Marion County Parks District's first director, Jack Telfer, a grant was received from the Ohio Department of Transportation for an access lane and parking area. When Karen Kelly became park director in July 2005 she activated this grant to fund the construction of graveled areas that make the area accessible. A shelter house was recently erected."

"The spring bird migration brings many transient species to join the fifteen or more resident species. Terradise is notable for the diversity of the native trees and plants growing there. Some of these are hickory, walnut, oak, ash, beech, Ohio buckeye, pawpaw, black cherry, hackberry, hawthorn, maple, box elder, mulberry, willow and poplar. In April the blooming wildflowers include spring beauties, Dutchman's britches, trout lilies, trilliums, violets, bloodroot, wild ginger, bloodroot, perfoliated bellwort, Solomon's seal, smilacina and jack-in-the-pulpit."


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Trella and Rich hike at Terradise.

Above: Trella Romine and Rich Bradley hike the trails at Terradise.

 

Below: Terradise.in the spring.

Below: Terradise location. Light green outline approximates park. Lower pin is shelter house. Upper pin is canoe launch area.

Wildflowers at Terradise. (Photo by Bob Klips)Dipteran on cow-parsnip Heracleum maximum at Terradise (by Bob Klips)

Naturally wild, naturally fun!

Above: Bee visits wild hyacinth Camassia scilloides at Terradise.

Below: Dipteran on cow-parsnip Heracleum maximum.

Download an informative brochure about Terradise!