Deer Haven park to open today (Aug. 24)

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Preservation Parks of Delaware County will open Deer Haven Preserve and Amy Clark-Bader Bird Sanctuary at2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24.

A dedication ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.

The 97-acre park, at 4183 Liberty Road, was donated to Preservation Parks by Phyllis A. Havener in 2006, said Rita Au, Preservation Parks executive director.

The park "includes a one-mile walking trail that winds through a woodland and creek corridor along deep ravines," a Preservation Parks press release said. It also "crosses a newly developed wetland and extends to a bird blind overlooking a pond. "The park also includes a picnic area and restroom facilities," it said.

The bird sanctuary was made possible by a $250,000 donation by John W. Bader Jr., whose late wife Amy Clark-Bader spent many years observing birds. The donation also will help pay to build a nature center that is expected to open in 2009.

The park district will construct the 3,500-square-foot nature center using environmentally friendly systems, Au said.

"We'll have a wetland sanitary system and all water will be filtered through it," she said. "We'll (also) be using natural materials in the construction -- sustainable wood, high energy-efficient glass and geothermal heating. We're investigating using solar (systems)."

Deer Haven Preserve makes the eighth park the organization has opened in the county since 2001, when the park district passed its first levy, Au said.

A proposed Preservation Parks levy, which will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, will replace the existing 0.4-mill levy and include an additional 0.2 mill for a total of 0.6 mill. The Delaware County auditor has estimated the levy will raise $3.7-million a year and will cost homeowners an estimated $18.38 a year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Deer Haven Preserve "was given to us by a family (the Haveners) that had enjoyed it as their summer home," Au said.

It differs from the district's other parks in that dogs will not be allowed. That decision was made to protect the wildlife, in particular the birds, she said.

After opening day, the park will be open from morning till dusk, 365 days a year. For information, visit or call the organization at (740) 524-8600.