Metroparks will receive $475,000 from a federal grant to establish a 70-acre park at a North Toledo wetland known as Manhattan Marsh.
The land is near Bassett Street, Manhattan Boulevard and Suder Avenue. Nearby is Toledo Public Schools’ Chase STEMM Academy on Bassett and Crane’s Landing, a 40-unit senior community, on Mayo Street.
Metroparks owns nearly 50 acres, which it acquired from the Lucas County Land Bank, and plans to secure most of the remaining property from the Land Bank and the City of Toledo.
Manhattan Marsh is important to realizing the park district’s vision of placing a Metropark within five miles of every resident of Lucas County.
In the next two years, the park district will install boardwalk trails and a kayak launch to provide access to the marsh for residents of the near-downtown neighborhood, and for Chase students to use as a nature lab. A 20-car parking lot and restrooms would be accessible from Clifford Street.
The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grant was one of 22 in 17 states – and the only grant in Ohio – announced yesterday by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The grants help plan, build and enhance parks and other outdoor recreation facilities in underserved communities.
The partnership is funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 50-year-old federal program that invests revenue from federal offshore oil and gas royalties into outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
“This is another example of how we are leveraging local tax dollars and bringing federal funds earmarked for parks back to our community,” said Dave Zenk, executive director of Metroparks. “This strategy allows us to develop new parks that preserve natural areas and enhance surrounding neighborhoods while minimizing the burden on Lucas County taxpayers.”
Manhattan Marsh is one of the area’s last remaining examples of a freshwater estuary, a semi-enclosed wetland where river and lake water combine. Historically, the marshland was the estuary of Swan Creek. Today the property is a series of wetlands connected by Detwiler Creek.
The property was initially acquired by surrounding property owners in the late 1990s to establish a nature preserve.