Congratulations to John O'Meara, who was recognized at this year’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 2017 Alumni Awards Luncheon.
John was recognized with the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which gives public recognition to those men and women who have brought distinction to themselves and to the college through their commitment and leadership. The awards luncheon was held March 4, 2016 at the Fawcett Event Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (1978) and a Master's Degree (1983) from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.
The Environment and Natural Resources Alumni Society Executive Council nominated John for a superb record of distinguished career accomplishments and outstanding contributions to his profession over his 35 years working in natural resources and conservation.
For 16 years, John led the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks serving as Executive Director. Under his leadership the metro parks more than doubled in both size and attendance and became the state's largest metro park system.
During his tenure as Executive Director, six parks opened, including Scioto Audubon Metro Park south of downtown Columbus. In 2012, the Metro Parks opened a $6.4 million nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park where visitors can view bison grazing nearby.
Prior to being appointed as Director of Metro Parks, John served as Director of Geauga Park District. He also served as the Scenic River Coordinator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. He has previous work experience as a naturalist for the Cleveland Metro Parks and taught natural resource conservation at a vocational high school as well.
In his retirement, John climbs mountains, spends time with his family and remains active with the school, college and university.