Property in southeastern Muskingum County pays tribute to owner’s eco-friendly lifestyle


The first thing visitors see when they arrive at Blue Rock Station in southeastern Muskingum County is a 1955 Volkswagen bus flanked by a flag bearing a peace sign.

Beyond the working barn stands a greenhouse made almost entirely of 2-liter soft-drink bottles. A grass maze invites participants to ponder what kind of footprint they will leave on Earth. Farther along the dirt path are chicken coops, a llama bar and the Earthship, a house built out of old tires, bottles, cans and mud.

No, this isn’t something from an episode of Lost. You’ve just arrived at Annie and Jay Warmke’s 38-acre playground, a tribute to the concept of environmentally friendly living.

Blue Rock Station draws 3,000 visitors annually from all around the world – sustainability believers and converts as well as curiosity-seekers.

“We want to inspire people to recycle and to just start thinking that a simpler life is a happier life,” Annie says.

Summer is a particularly good time to visit the station, which is located 10 miles south of Zanesville. The Warmkes conduct “llama treks,” leading visitors on a walk through the scenic hills of Appalachia. The Warmkes’ five llamas carry packs with snacks that can be eaten during a break under a canopy of maple and birch trees.

“These gentle and noble animals make excellent companions on a leisurely stroll through nature,” Annie says.

The llama trek begins with an introduction to the Warmkes’ many animals, including Alpine goats, rare-breed chickens and, of course, llamas. Annie gives a quick lesson on how to care for llamas and then prepares the animals for the hike.

After the hike, visitors return to the Earthship for a cup of steaming British tea, cheeses and dessert.

For more information, visit www.bluerockstation.com.