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Video
Two geese enjoy the view of the Little Miami River from a moss-covered rock at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. The gorge's Nature Center opens for the season on Sunday, April 4. (Photo by Lauren Heaton)

Two geese enjoy the view of the Little Miami River from a moss-covered rock at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. The gorge's Nature Center opens for the season on Sunday, April 4. (Photo by Lauren Heaton)

Clifton Gorge Nature Center to open for the season

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The Nature Center at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve will open for the season next Sunday, April 4; the center will be closed on Sunday, April 5, for Easter, but will reopen the next day. The one-room learning laboratory is located at the trailhead near the parking lot off State Route 343, and is host to a variety of stuffed Ohio animal specimens and pelts, as well as tubs of live turtles, an active bee hive and more. The gorge is open daylight to dusk.

The gorge is maintained by central district manager Michelle Comer and crew members Heidi Edwards, Jaime Nerdier and Nathan Jero. The four split their time between preserves from Greene to Union and Mercer counties.

In 2011, naturalists Tom Wiegel and Richard Dellapina designed the Nature Center. The two Springfield City school teachers were former researchers at Ohio State University’s Stone Labratory, and helped manage the Nature Center. Wiegel and Dellapina retired last year, however, and the preserve is seeking volunteers to staff the center. Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Michelle at 937-537-6173.

Nature lovers can also help support Clifton Gorge, as well as other nature preserves, by checking “State nature preserves” on their Ohio income tax returns, providing greatly needed support for Ohio’s natural areas. Ohioans can donate all or part of their state income tax refund by checking line 27d of the 2014 1040 Individual Income Tax Return (line 20d of the 1040 EZ form). Contributions made to Ohio State Nature Preserves are tax deductible.

Watch below for a quick glimpse of the gorge as it moves into spring, as well as the Nature Center and its offerings.

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Clifton Gorge Nature Center to open for the season

by Lauren Shows