Nature Education


NEW – Outdoor Feed Ordinance

The City of Dublin recognizes the growing deer population in Ohio. In response, Dublin City Council recently passed an Outdoor Feeding Ordinance.

The amendment to Section 91.12 of the City’s Code of Ordinances prohibits feeding any wild animals or animals running at large on private property. This amendment does not apply to feeding birds or a resident’s own animals. Section 96.17 prohibits feeding wildlife on public property.

In this ordinance, a wild animal is defined as an animal not legally confined or held by legally acquired private ownership.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Groundhogs
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Waterfowl
  • Opossums
  • Muskrats
  • Deer
  • Foxes
  • Black bears
  • Wild turkey
  • Bobcats
  • Coyotes

Adopting a general regulation prohibiting the feeding of all wild animals on private property eliminates the need to pass animal-specific no-feed ordinances each time there is an increase in the wild animal population.

It’s important to understand why feeding animals can be problematic.

The frequent feeding of wildlife can:

  • Lead to a higher concentration of wildlife in residential areas.
  • Cause animals to become comfortable in an area and frequently return, knowing food is easily accessible.
  • Desensitize animals to people when they are close to them, leading to aggression toward people and pets.
  • Interfere with the animal’s natural process.
  • Spread disease.
  • Lead to an increase in vehicle vs. deer crashes

The outdoor feed ordinance addresses current and future concerns.

As part of enforcing this ordinance, the GoDublin app will include “Outdoor Feeding” as a report type under the Code Enforcement section of the app.

The City’s Nature Education Coordinator will initiate the first conversation with the residents feeding wildlife to inform them of the issues caused by outdoor feeding. If a resident should violate the ordinance beyond the initial educational discussions, Code Enforcement will become involved.

If you have questions about the Outdoor Feed Ordinance or deer management, please contact Nature Education Coordinator Barbara Ray at (614.410.4730)

Oh, Deer! Stay Alert on the Roads

Fall and winter are peak times for deer-related car accidents. Be alert and stay safe when driving this holiday season with the following tips:

  • Slow down and proceed with caution in areas where deer crossing signs are displayed.
  • Make sure that you and your passengers always wear seat belts.
  • If you hit a deer, please call Dublin Nature Education (614.410.4730), Police non-emergency line (614.889.1112) or 911 if there is a severe emergency for any of your passengers.
  • Drive safely, Dublin


The white-tailed deer is a common backyard visitor in Dublin. They typically reside in fields and use forest areas for cover. Deer typically feed on gardens, landscape plants and trees, and agricultural crops. They are creatures of habit and tend to return to the same area. Damage caused by deer browsing can occur year-round and is identified by branches, leaves and twigs with a rough, torn or shredded appearance.

Preventing Deer Damage

When combating deer damage, it is important to be proactive, use several strategies and have realistic expectations. You should not expect to eliminate deer damage completely. A 50 percent reduction in deer browse is very successful; a 30 percent reduction is a more likely result. Deer are very persistent once they are used to feeding in an area. It is easier to prevent them from developing the habit in the first place. Detect damage early and take immediate action to prevent more damage. 

  • Hazing – frightening deer away from vulnerable areas. Most hazing methods frighten deer with sudden, loud noises or movement
    • Motion-activated sprinklers, Predator Eyes, menthol rub on outer leaves, Deer Scram, peanut butter tabs on a strand of electric fencing, lights or noisemakers, such as a radio, are other effective options.
    • Deer can become used to hazing techniques unless they are rotated and keep the deer surprised.
  • Protective Structures – these can include garden fencing, temporary borders of 26 – 36”, garden borders with motion-activated white/yellow or amber holiday lights set to flash mode and wrapping young or sensitive trees.
  • Planting deer-resistant plants



The coyote is generally a slender animal, very similar in appearance to a medium-sized dog. Since the coyote and domesticated dog are from the same family, Canidae, the resemblance is more than a coincidence. Coyotes have a bushy tail which is usually tipped in black and is carried down at a 45 degree angle as the animal moves, unlike that of its other cousin the wolf. The majority of coyotes are gray, though some show a rusty, brown or off-white coloration.

If you do cross paths with a coyote, use the SMART Method:

  • Stop – stop moving
  • Make yourself big – wave arms and fists
  • Announce – speak forcefully and loudly… “Go away! Get out!”
  • Repeat – do this several times until the coyote is out of sight
  • Tell – tell others in the area, report the encounter to Dublin Nature Education (614.410.4730), Police non-emergency line (614.889.1112), or SCRAM (614.763.0696)
Learn More: ODNR Species Guide Index



The striped skunk is about the size of a house cat, with a large deep body, small head, and short legs. The hair is long and black, with a broad patch of white on its head and shoulders. Two white lines forming a “V” from the shoulder area may extend part way or all of the way to the base of the bushy tail. Color variations include brown, white, cream, black, and, occasionally, albino. Males and females are colored alike with males being slightly larger in size. Each foot has five slightly webbed toes with the forefeet having long, curved claws designed for digging. The rear feet have shorter, straighter claws.

How do we avoid conflicts with skunks in the first place?

Skunks are shy, calm animals by nature and they don’t spray on a whim. They take a good scare or a lot of provocation. Generally they give fair warning with a little line dance that includes foot stomping, tail flagging, forward and back maneuvers and finally, turning their bodies in a “U” shape to prepare to spray. And line dance is accurate, because if there is a brood of two or more skunks, they will all do this little dance just about in unison, perhaps while grunting a rhythm to keep the beat. Skunks can spray accurately at about 15’, the length of two tables, so it’s important to keep your distance. Move slowly around them and don’t spook or threaten them, and you won’t get sprayed. Dogs did not get that memo, and often bark at the skunk and scare him and they get sprayed.

Learn More: ODNR Species Guide Index

Wildlife Calls & Contact Information

If you have a wild or domestic animal question or concern, here are resources to contact in Dublin and Central Ohio.

Want to report an issue on the go? GoDublin, the City of Dublin’s mobile app, makes reporting issues and improving neighborhoods easier than ever.

Download: All Things Animal Contact List

Wildlife Calls & Contact Information

Nature Notebook – Wildlife Encounters

Would you know what to do if a coyote, raccoon, opossum or deer crosses your path? In this video, Dublin kids Brady, Hunter, Riley and Graham demonstrate some simple techniques to keep you safe.

Wildlife Calls & Contact Information

If you have a wild or domestic animal question or concern, here are resources to contact in Dublin and Central Ohio.

Want to report an issue on the go? GoDublin, the City of Dublin’s mobile app, makes reporting issues and improving neighborhoods easier than ever.

Download: All Things Animal Contact List

Schedule a Visit

The City of Dublin has developed curriculum to meet state science standards for grades k-5, but are able to help with any grade level. We look forward to designing a class to fit your specific subject curriculum.

City Parks are our preferred classroom, but we will visit yours!

Contact us to schedule a visit:
Barbara Ray
Nature Education Coordinator
Parks and Open Space
6555 Shier Rings Road
Dublin, Ohio 43016

Classes & Programs

The Life of a Bug

We’ll look at local insects and their life cycles, focusing on dragonflies, but including other insects in our area and their nest. (Students will see bald faced hornet’s nests, praying mantis egg cases and other insect structures.

The Art of Finding

Students learn how to use their eyes, ears, nose, hands and journaling to explore the outside world. Being aware and remembering the happenings of past days (weather, animal and human habits, drawing to see detail) help us to further investigate our surroundings. Through simple exercises students learn to be more aware of their world. They’ll have a chance to enjoy some items (antlers, turtle shells, etc…) from nature found by using these techniques.

My Walk Home

This class is designed to encourage students to think how organisms affect one another in the natural world. What would happen if we only ever planted one kind of tree? What does the term ‘monoculture’ mean and how does a walk home affect the world? Students will spend time outside studying the number of plants in a given area and how this number relates to the natural world.

Other Available Courses

  • Ohio Predators
  • Ohio Herbivores
  • Adaptations
  • Learning from the Land
  • Animals in Winter
  • Using Our Senses
  • Smaller than a Penny
  • Plants and Trees
  • What comes from Trees
  • Too Close for Comfort
  • All about Feet
  • Water, the Scioto River
  • Weather
  • Recycling

Resources from Nature

  • Furs, central Ohio animals
  • Study specimens (mink, least weasel)
  • Study specimens (barred owl, great horned owl)
  • Study specimen (Ruby throated hummingbird, other species)
  • Study skulls ( Ohio wild dogs including coyote, grey and red fox)
  • Study skulls ( Ohio herbivores including white tail deer, ground hog, beaver, cotton tail rabbit)
  • Study skulls (various animals including raccoon, snapping turtle,
  • Various items from nature (deer antlers, turtle shells, snake skin, rabbit tail, turkey tail, pheasant tail)
  • Bird nest of Ohio (including Baltimore Oriole, Northern Cardinal, Black capped chickadee, Chimney swift, Robin, Gold finch etc…)
  • Bird items (including various feathers, nest, talons, skulls)
  • Insect egg cases, nest (bald faced hornet nest
  • Interchanging displays (seeds from native plants, poisonous plants, owl pellets)
  • Native American Skills (bow drill fire, bowl, basket and fish spear making, debris hut shelter, how native peoples walk upon the land and use their eyes)
  • Classes on fish/water quality testing

Bocce Ball Courts
Two regulation bocce ball courts are available for public use, subject to senior adult programming and league play. Bocce ball sets may be checked out at the Welcome Desk by players 18 and older.

The classrooms house a variety of programs, including pottery and arts & crafts—meeting the needs of preschoolers, children, teens, adults and senior adults.

Community Hall
The Community Hall provides space for parties, receptions, meetings and community events. The facility seats up to 300 or can be divided into smaller rooms.

Abbey theater of Dublin
A 200-seat theater can be used for musical, theatrical and dance performances; film/video; lectures; and seminars.

Computer Lab
Equipped with workstations and a variety of software programs, the computer lab provides high-speed Internet access and opportunities for beginning and intermediate instruction. Open to ages 18 & up.

Family Locker Rooms
Each family locker room has its own shower, restroom and lockers. One locker room, designed for people with special needs, features a dressing table.

Fitness Area
Looking for free weights and cardiovascular equipment? Check out the fully equipped fitness area on the first floor. You will find treadmills, elliptical machines, bicycles and stair steppers along with free weights, Nautilus and a complete set of Cybex strength equipment.

Group Fitness Studios
If you enjoy group fitness, check out the myriad of classes offered. Two state-of-the-art studios feature suspended floors to help reduce impact and injury. Several pass options are available, allowing participants to choose from a weekly schedule of classes that include Spinning®, Pilates and TRX.

Jogging/Walking Track
Joggers and walkers on the second floor track can cover a mile in 13 laps. An expanse of windows provides views of the pools and the outdoors.

Multi-Purpose Pool
The competitive/lap pool measures 25 yards by 25 meters and has two one-meter diving boards. This pool often is divided for activities such as aqua aerobics, open swim, swim team practice and instruction. Bleachers provide ample seating and a separate entrance makes it perfect for area swim meets. The natatorium walls in both the lap and leisure pools are lined with sound-absorbing material.

Leisure Pool
A unique feature of the DCRC is the leisure pool, which includes a lazy river, clam slide for children, double helix slide for those a little more daring and a zero-foot entry point for cautious tots. The warmer water and 3.5-foot maximum depth make this pool perfect for children, adults and senior adults.

Senior Adult Lounge
An elegant, cozy lounge welcomes senior adults to our center. Enjoy playing cards with friends, reading by a fireplace or simply relaxing in this peaceful environment.

Teen Lounge
A teen lounge offers space and a variety of programming opportunities for Dublin teens.

Wee folk/Youth Lounge
While moms and dads are working out, attending a class or relaxing in the hot tub, they can rest assured that their children—from ages 6 weeks to 12 years—are nearby and safe. Children can play in the indoor or outdoor area or engage in age-appropriate games and activities.

Courtesy & Rules

Hours of Operation
Our parks are open for your enjoyment from dawn to dusk, unless otherwise noted at the park or during certain special events.

A number of our shelters and pavilions are available to reserve on a first-come, first serve basis. Please be courteous of your neighbors and abide by your reservation times.

Keep it Clean
We’re sure you’ll find Dublin’s parks and bikeways to be clean, beautiful places to enjoy with your family. The City strives to keep its parks, playgrounds and bikeways clean and free of litter. Please leave the parks as clean as you find them so that others will enjoy them as much as you do. Disposal of litter in public places is prohibited unless placed in public trash containers or using City-authorized containers as part of the City’s refuse, recycling and yard waste collection programs.

We know your furry friends enjoy nature as much as you do. We ask you to be safe and courteous with your pets.

Animals may not run at-large in our parks. All animals must be under the owner’s control at all times. All pets must be securely leashed, kept in a vehicle or suitably caged.

Animal owners also must pick up and properly dispose of any fecal matter left by their pets. It’s not just courteous — it’s the law!

Horses are allowed in designated areas of Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

Hunting and Fishing
For the safety of our residents, hunting is forbidden in the City. Fishing is permitted in designated areas, including certain City park ponds and in the Scioto River (with a license). Please fish only in ponds where signs prohibiting fishing are not posted.

Respect our Parks
Plants and animals also are part of the Dublin community. Please respect the plant and animal life and ecosystems of our natural areas. Enjoy the flowers, trees and other flora without picking or damaging plants. Touching or disturbing wildlife, including animal and bird nesting areas and eggs can be dangerous to humans — not to mention our flora and fauna! And please do not damage or remove any property or natural feature, including stones and minerals, earth, wood, and nuts. Take only pictures and leave only footprints in our parks.

Rules & Regulations

Dublin Recreation Services is committed to providing quality recreation programs and facilities for the Dublin community. Use of the facilities by families and citizens is strongly encouraged. The following policies have been established to operate the DCRC and to ensure our patrons quality and safe recreation experiences:

  • Proper and valid identification is required to gain access to the DCRC. Users of the DCRC need to check in at the front desk and provide annual pass, resident card, temporary pass or pay the daily pass rate for admittance.
  • Annual pass holders who do not present their annual pass will only be admitted if an alternate form of photo identification is produced.
  • Resident card holders must present their Dublin Resident ID card each visit to receive the daily pass discount rate.
  • Annual passes are not transferable and will be deemed void when in the hands of those other than the proper registrant.
  • The DCRC and its grounds are smoke- and alcohol-free environments by City ordinance.
  • Eating and drinking is permitted in designated areas only.
  • Children ages 9 and under must have adult/guardian at least 16 years of age supervising at all times.  Supervising adults must keep children ages 4 and under within arm’s reach; there must be at least one adult for each two children in this age group. Children ages 5 through 7 must be within sight of their attending adult at all times. Children ages 8 and 9 must have an adult in the facility at all times. For children ages 5 through 9, there must be one adult for every five children. Children ages 10 years and over may enter the facility without an adult supervisor.
  • Youth must be 16 years of age or older to be on the fitness floor.  Youth ages 12 – 15 years are permitted on the fitness floor if directly supervised by an adult or if they have passed the Junior Fitness Card Program (see Fitness Program Section). Youth under the age of 12 years are not permitted on the fitness floor area at anytime.
  • Youth must be 13 years of age or older to be on the track or in the track stretching areas.  Youth ages 8 – 12 years are permitted on the track if directly supervised by an adult or if they have passed the Junior Track Program (see Fitness Program Section). Youth may enroll in the Junior Track Program if they are ages 10-12.  Youth under the age of 8 years are not permitted on the track at anytime unless utilizing the pool observation area with an adult.
  • Changes in recreation schedules may occur without notice. Staff will post changes in the schedule with as much advance notice as possible. Current pool, aerobics and open gym schedules are available at the Front Desk.
  • Dublin Recreation Services is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. It is strongly recommended that you lock your possessions in a locker during your visit to the DCRC.
  • Lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Locks may not be left on lockers overnight. Locks which are left overnight will be removed by staff.
  • All participants must observe the rules and regulations relating to the safety and operation of the facilities. Any passholder who fails to comply with the rules and regulations of the DCRC will be subject to the following penalties:
  • One week’s suspension from use of the facilities upon the first incident;
  • Thirty days suspension from use of the facilities upon the second incident;
  • One year suspension from use of the facilities upon a third violation; and
  • Permanent suspension from use of the facilities upon any subsequent incident.

The following activities, although not an exhaustive list, are examples of behaviors that will result in disciplinary action and police reports when applicable:

  • Fighting
  • Stealing
  • Property Damage
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Criminal damage
  • Verbal abuse of staff and/or patrons
  • Not following posted policies and rules

DCRC Regular Building Hours

  • Monday – Friday: 5:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

2024 Modified Hours

  • New Year’s Day: Monday, Jan. 1 open from 8 a.m. to noon
  • Easter: Sunday, March 31 – CLOSED
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 27 open from 8 a.m. to noon
  • Independence Day: Thursday, July 4 open from 8 a.m. to noon
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2 – CLOSED
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 28 open from 8 a.m. to noon
  • Christmas Eve: Tuesday, Dec. 24 open from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Christmas: Wednesday, Dec. 25 – CLOSED
  • New Year’s Eve: Tuesday, Dec. 31 open from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • New Year’s Day: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2025 open from 8 a.m. to noon

2024 Dublin Irish Festival Special Hours

  • Friday, Aug. 2 open from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 3 open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 4 – CLOSED

2024 Annual Cleaning, Maintenance & Repairs

The Dublin Community Recreation Center (DCRC) will be closed from Saturday, Aug. 24 through Monday, Sept. 2, 2024 for annual cleaning, maintenance and repairs. The DCRC will reopen at 5:30am Tuesday, Sept. 3. Offices will be staffed for phone calls from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

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