Newest Metropark officially joins the list of parks in the Toledo area

Newest Metropark officially joins the list of parks in the Toledo area
(Source: WTOL)

JERUSALEM TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - The Howard Marsh Metropark is the largest and most complex project in Metroparks Toledo's history.

To give you an idea of how big the area is, park officials say you could put all of Wildwood Metropark in just the back section alone.

With this much space, the Metroparks can attract people who love all things outdoors, all while preserving precious lake front property.

"It will help to protect something that is so precious to our part of the world," Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said. "There really is no other place like it. This is really the step off point to largest body of fresh water on the face of the earth."

Restoring the wetlands will also help filter runoff from getting into the lake. From a recreational aspect, this will allow fishing, canoeing and even duck hunting.

"I think this is going to be a tremendous draw for people," Sharon Simmons, Toledo native and Metropark Enthusiast said Monday. "In your warmer weather with the water ways. I saw the boats coming in, looked really inviting. It may be a little cold today."

Attracting more people may also mean more business for local bait shops and carryouts.

"Because if they're not going fishing they're probably not going to come here," Dan Baker, owner of Butch and Denny's Bait and Tackle Shop explained.

Even if Baker doesn't see a lot of new business, he said he is happy to see the old Howard farm turn back into wetlands.

"Well just to put more back into the public use rather than just being a field," Baker said.

Though it will take up to five years before the marsh really fills in, decades from now won't know that it was once a field.

"That is something that is so vital to our country, to our people, to our future generations," Simmons said.

The Howard Marsh Metropark opens to the public Saturday.

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