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Manhattan Marsh Preserve Metropark

When it opens in fall 2020, Manhattan Marsh Preserve will fulfill a promise to place a Metropark within 5 miles of 
every resident of Lucas County.

The Board of Park Commissioners approved a contract with Salenbien Trucking & Excavating to build the park amenities at a cost $1.3 million.

Manhattan Marsh, near Manhattan Boulevard and Suder Avenue, will be the first Metropark in North Toledo, and complete the park system’s pledge that every resident in the county will live within five miles of a Metropark.

“This is a major milestone for our agency, and for our community, said Dave Zenk, Metroparks executive director.
“Not many places in the country say they have a high quality, regional park within five miles of every residence.
This is an important step to making northwest Ohio one of the best places to live, work and play.”

Construction will consist of: 

  • A 20-car parking lot and entrance drive at the end of Clifford Street
  • A 1.3-mile trail with nearly 1,500 feet of concrete “boardwalk”
  • Overlooks to provide viewing into the marsh
  • Landscaping
  • Signage
  • And utilities for a precast restroom building

The site is one of the last remnants of a much larger marshland that once surrounded Maumee Bay.

It provides a critical stopover habitat for over 100 species of migratory songbirds and waterfowl within one of North America’s most significant migratory flyways.

Frogtown Past and Present

Manhattan Marsh is really a snapshot of the past. One of the last remnants of a much larger marsh that surrounded Maumee Bay, the area was a popular haven for frogs and toads. Their loud songs made the residents’ ears ring, and early Toledo was quickly dubbed with the name, “Frogtown.”

Today, this marsh has been restored and preserved not only for frogs and toads, but other wildlife such as turtles and birds. Positioned within one of North America’s most significant migratory bird flyways, Manhattan Marsh is an urban oasis that provides critical stopover habitat. Over 100 species of birds like warblers and waterfowl making their long journey north or south will use this Metropark as an important stop to rest and re-fuel.

The Lost City

Built on the speculation of businessmen in the 1830s, Manhattan seemed a perfect choice for the convergence of newly available transportation modes. Chosen for its natural channel and proximity to the Maumee River, Manhattan had some early success with riverboats and steamboats. But this success would be short lived as the Miami and Erie Canal’s Side Cut to Toledo upstaged Manhattan, the long-awaited Ohio railroad never materialized and financial backers withdrew support.

Manhattan survived as a town until 1848, when the town lost its platt and was absorbed into Toledo.

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