Terradise Legacies: Conservation & Local History Organizing in Marion County Today

Luckily, conservation & local history organizing in Marion County didn’t end with the passing of Trella Romine. The movements & mission Trella & Ray Romine & their comrades set into place are very much alive & way in the contemporary landscape of local history & conservation organizing in Marion County, & across the region.

On the local history front, collecting, preserving, & sharing Marion County’s history continues apace at the Marion County Historical Society: which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. Additionally, new organizations like Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History — with a focus on public history, folk & cultural arts, & social justice — are working directly with historically-marginalized communities to expand the type of histories recorded & told across Marion County: including the histories & living cultural traditions of Black, working-class, & Latine communities across the county.

Conservation & environmental education efforts in Marion County are, likewise, thriving in an increasingly diversified landscape. The Marion County Parks District — created through Trella Romine & Judge Charlton Myers’ donations of Terradise Nature Preserve & Myers Woods in the 1980s — now manages & interprets parklands & green spaces across Marion County, & stewards the Tallgrass Trail: a massively successful draw for cyclists, walkers, & naturalists from across the region. Locally, in Caledonia, ECO Center provides hands-on nature experience & environmental education for area youth: including thru a popular summer camp. And OSU-M’s Marion Campus Prairie — a major victory of the Sandusky Plains Conservation Movement — continues to be stewarded by biologists & students on campus today: descendants of Larry Yoder’s original generation of “prairie dogs” who helped make it possible.