Columbus has one of the most interesting cemeteries in Ohio, Green Lawn
. And how many cemeteries can boast of such a stunning website? It is certainly a place where history meets natural history and serves as a wildlife refuge as well.
In the mid 1800's, cemeteries were not just sites to bury the dead. They were also used as parade grounds, picnic areas and arboretums. As noted before on this blog, many of Ohio's "Big Trees" are found in cemeteries. Today's visitors still enjoy the park-like atmosphere.
Along with the notables of interest buried in Green Lawn
, the monuments come in every shape, style and form of architecture. From the massive mausoleum to the diminutive graves in "Lullaby Land", it would take years to study all of the various structures, styles, and sizes.
Equal to the history, natural history is promoted in this sylvan setting, a magnet for wildlife. Considered a hot spot for birders, the pit area, containing water and an array of well-filled bird feeders, is ground zero for wintering birds. A Merlin
, the fast flying falcon who frequents the mausoleum area, is stirring local interest. He put on a dignified display during my most recent trip to Green Lawn. Deer tracks in the snow and a stealthy coyote were also noted.
The icing on this cake, at least to my botany-loving brain, is the prairie. Several of Ohio's oldest cemeteries have preserved prairies within, but Green Lawn is the only cemetery I know where a prairie was planted
to enhance its beauty and promote interest in the natural world. A perfect example of blending the natural and spiritual worlds, creating a little heaven on earth. One of the most exciting plants found in Ohio, the Dotted Horsemint, Monarda punctata
can be found within this flowering field. A rarity some folks travel all the way to the Oak Opening to see, this little beauty was photographed right at Green Lawn in Columbus.