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Clean Ohio Funds New Metropark

The Metroparks of the Toledo Area is the sole beneficiary of the most recent round of Clean Ohio grants to preserve open space in Lucas County. The Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC), which evaluates Clean Ohio applications, recommended that the Metroparks be granted $1,898,471 for “East Riverfront Restoration – Phase 1.” The entire restoration is envisioned as three phases. The Metroparks is providing a local match of $740,442.

In the application for funding, the Metroparks described their plan. In phase 1, they will acquire and restore 21 acres of former brownfields along the Maumee River to establish a new downtown Metropark. The site is the Marina District, on the east side of the river near the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Schoonmaker Museum Ship. The project will build 107,600 square feet of natural wetlands and terraced bioswales, create 4 acres of urban forest by planting over 1,800 trees, restore 6.1 acres of native prairie, restore degraded Maumee River shoreline and in-stream aquatic habitat, and install 0.7 miles of shared use paths, walkways, and river overlooks which will be linked to other open space and visitor destinations through a network of off-street bicycle and walking paths. The first phase also includes a protected kayak launch.

The stormwater infrastructure will capture 1.2 million gallons of existing untreated annual stormwater runoff and 3.6 million gallons of future annual stormwater runoff.

The application demonstrated that the project would preserve or restore water quality, enhance opportunities for learning about natural resources, connect parks, and improve access to public lands. It coordinates with other local plans including TMACOG’s 2045 Plan (which includes completion of a pedestrian/bicycle trail connection through the project site as its top-ranked priority project for non-motorized transportation), and the Downtown Toledo Master Plan.


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