The Ohio Historical Society in conjunction with the Newark Earthworks Center at The Ohio State University at Newark and the Greater Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau will hold the first 2011 open house dates at the Octagon Earthworks in Newark, Ohio, April 17-18, allowing the entire site to be golf-free on these days. Visitors will be able to enjoy the earthworks in its springtime splendor during daylight hours those days.
In addition, special programs are being offered that Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Guided tours and educational activities will be offered. Visitors also are encouraged to stop by the Great Circle Museum at the Great Circle Earthworks in neighboring Heath, Ohio, to learn more about the entire Newark Earthworks complex and its creation more than 2,000 years ago.
Additional dates to tour the Octagon Earthworks this year have been set for Tuesday, May 31 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Moundbuilders Country Club operates a golf course on the site and has set aside these days for greater public access. While portions of the Octagon are open every day during daylight hours, the open-house dates allow the public to see the entire earthworks.
In addition to taking a guided tour, visitors also are welcome to tour the earthworks on their own, but are asked to stay off the mounds and golfing greens. There are no public restroom facilities at the Octagon Earthworks. Admission is free for the open houses.
The Octagon Earthworks is a part of the Newark Earthworks, a complex that is 2,000 years old and at one time covered approximately four square miles. Built about 2,000 years ago by the Hopewell culture, the Newark Earthworks is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and has been declared Ohios official prehistoric monument of the state. A nomination of the site for inclusion on the World Heritage List is currently being prepared. Scholars recognize it as the largest geometric earthworks ever created.
Although much of it has been destroyed by more than a century of urban development, the most significant parts remaining are the Octagon, Great Circle and Wright earthworks. Together these three earthworks comprise the Newark Earthworks, one of 58 sites administered by the Ohio Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as the states partner in preserving and interpreting Ohios history, natural history, archaeology and historic places.
The Newark Earthworks Center is an interdisciplinary academic center at The Ohio State University which studies, teaches about and promotes appreciation for Ohio earthworks. Among other projects, the NEC provides school tours at the Great Circle and Flint Ridge and programming on public access days.
The mission of the Greater Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau is to promote tourism and attract visitors and conventions to Licking County. The bureau accomplishes this by a comprehensive marketing plan of print advertising, radio, television, direct mail, e-mail promotions FAM tours and a drop in visitors information center. The bureau also offers once a year a grant program to their tourism partners to help partners with expenses in advertising to attract visitors from outside a 50 mile radius. In the past 6 years the CVB has awarded over $73,000 in marketing grant money to its tourism partners.