Plans for New Preble County Welcome Center Unveiled 

In early May, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik announced their plans for the re-imagined Welcome Center in Preble County. 

The renovated design planned for the Preble County Welcome Center is an effort that falls under the umbrella of Governor DeWine’s efforts to improve the rest stop experience. Governor DeWine stated the importance of rest stops, which—after being redesigned—will not only provide travelers a safe place to rest, but also a place to learn about Ohio’s history and gain a deeper understanding of the state. 

Notable features in the renovated design will include upgrades such as native Ohio plants and landscaping, dog trails, Ohio music, rocking chairs, and a Storybook Trail outside. The Storybook Trail is designed to help families to explore nearly two dozen other Storybook Trails in Ohio parks and enroll children in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio to get free books. 

The redesigned rest stop also features pictures and tourism information that spotlight the significant contributions Ohio has made to aviation and space work, history, research, and exploration. Scannable QR codes on the walls allow guests to learn more about nearby attractions such as the Historic Paul Laurence Dunbar House, local and state parks, public universities in Ohio, and other historical sites in the state. 

The design plan for the Preble County rest stop will be implemented to construct 33 new rest stops by the end of 2026. In addition to these 33 new rest stops, dozens of rest areas that will not see new buildings will receive upgrades such as Ohio native landscaping and regional tourism information. To see more about the Preble County rest stop design, check out this video.


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