The Groveport Nature Center has taken over Town Hall for the month of April with its Creepy Crawly Critters exhibit.
Program director and naturalist Tina Dillman hosted an open house April 6 to give local children a chance to get up close and personal with several creepy crawly insects and reptiles, including a hissing cockroach, one of many critters fascinating to 8-year-old Austin Russell and his 10-year-old sister, Crystal.
"I'm 50-50 between excited and nervous," Crystal said.
Her mom, Jackie Russell agreed.
Austin, who was busy watching a snake feed on a dead mouse, said he was "100 percent excited" to see and touch all of Dillman's creatures.
"The kids really like learning about nature and she (Dillman) makes it fun and exciting for them. We come about every week," Jackie Russell said.
Town Hall hosts a variety of events with a new family-friendly program almost every week, Dillman said.
"Since Three Creeks Metro Park and Slate Run don't have their own nature centers, we partner very nicely with each other, sharing resources, such as this exhibit, which is a combination of items from the Groveport Nature Center, donations and loans from residents, as well as items on loan from the Metro Parks," she said.
According to Dillman, she expects about 1,000 people to view the current exhibit, based on average visitors to previous exhibits, including the couple dozen guests at the weekend open house.
"It's just unbelievable how many people from the community support us, both through donations of items and time but also showing up to enjoy the exhibits," Dillman said.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays throughout the rest of the month at Town Hall, 648 Main St.
The Turtle Lady will visit at 2 p.m. next Saturday, April 13, with even more live critters, and Dillman will host Earth Day is Every Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20.
For additional information, or to schedule a group tour, call Town Hall at 614-836-3333 or email www.groveport.org.