Remarks of former DCA President Terry Stewart at the dedication of the Big Darby Creek Historical Marker at Battelle-Darby Metro Park
July 12, 2003
My name is Terry Stewart. I am representing the Darby Creek Association. We are here today to dedicate an historical marker for a special and rare place, the Darby Creeks. This is one of our "Last Great Places." But I also see today as a tribute to the dedicated persons and organizations that have actively protected this special place. I think of agencies and organizations such as the Columbus and Franklin County Metroparks, the Scenic Rivers Program, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and The Nature Conservancy. But I especially think of the volunteers who played important roles in its protection. I think of the group that formed 31 years ago to protect Big Darby Creek from a pair of proposed reservoirs. That group founded the Darby Creek Association. The Darby Creek Association petitioned for State Scenic River status in the late 70ís and finally received that status in 1984. In 1994, National Scenic River status was granted.
Big Darby Creek is the closest National Scenic River in the nation to the downtown of a major American city. The expanding metropolis poses a threat that cannot be overestimated. If the biodiversity of this creek is to be preserved for future generations, all of our efforts must be re-doubled.
Many people have heard about Darby or seen it. Some have become dedicated to its preservation and have taken action. These are the type of people who make up the membership of the Darby Creek Association. We have one distinguished person among us, who also has exhibited those special traits. Senator Mike DeWine has taken Darby to heart. Senator, your leadership at the national level has been an important missing component in Darby preservation and restoration. Truly a national treasure like this deserves federal efforts to project it and Senator, you have realized the urgency of the situation and faced the challenge with determination and innovation. For your dedication Senator, the Darby Creek Association is offering to make you an "Honorary Lifetime Member." You are the first person to be offered this award. The Darby Creek Association holds you as an example for others to emulate. You have shown the kind of leadership that the Darby Creek Association would like to see become infectious amongst elected officials. Thank you Senator.
Darby Historical Marker Dedication