Howard Marsh Phase 2 Fact Sheet

Howard Marsh Summary

In 2008, Metroparks acquired the 1,000-acre Howard Farms property in Jerusalem Township north of SR 2 and bisected by Howard Road.  In spring 2018, Metroparks Toledo opened Howard Marsh phase 1 to the public.  This 752-acre park restoration project on the Howard Farms property, located east of Howard Road and north of SR2 provides significant benefits for habitat, water quality, and recreational opportunities.  Benefits include restoration of nearly 600 acres of coastal marsh wetlands, over 100 acres of newly planted forests, treatment of 400 acres of residential stormwater that previously discharged directly into Lake Erie, and providing visitors with over 6 miles of new trails and over 6 miles of permanent blueway channels for paddling.

Howard Marsh Phase 2

Starting this week, work will begin on Howard Marsh Phase 2, a 243-acre park restoration project west of Howard Road that will restore over 200 acres of new coastal wetlands with over 4 miles of permanent blueway channels for paddling.  Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 with park opening next spring adding an additional 2.3 miles of hiking trails to the park.

Engineering and design for Howard Marsh Phase 2 was completed by Ducks Unlimited, a national leader in wetland conservation with expertise in wetland engineering and restoration.  This $2.5 million wetland restoration project along with the cost of engineering and design was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through their Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory with funds from U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Completion of this project is designated as a Management Action Priority under the Maumee Area of Concern Program.

As with Howard Marsh Phase 1, completion of the Phase 2 project will require the construction of wetland dikes to hold water and restore wetland hydrology.  Construction of these dikes falls under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Dam Safety Program who will oversee construction to ensure that the project meets their rigorous standards for engineering and safety.  Metroparks has worked cooperatively with the Jerusalem Township Trustees to ensure that this project has the added benefit of reducing flooding risks by connecting the newly constructed dikes into a preexisting flood control levy system on adjacent private properties along the Cooley Canal flowing to Lake Erie.

Howard Marsh Project Timeline

2008     Metroparks acquires the Howard Farms property subject to a 9-year farming lease

2013     Metroparks initiates the formal public planning process for future park construction at the Howard Farms property:

  • February: Metroparks board approves contracts with Ducks Unlimited and Smithgroup for engineering, design, and park planning services
  • March: Metroparks assembles core planning team of Metroparks, Ducks Unlimited, Smithgroup, Ohio Division of Wildlife, and NOAA
  • June: Metroparks assembles technical advisory committee including Jerusalem Township Trustees, Reno Beach-Howard Farms Conservancy District and other local stakeholders / technical experts
  • August: First public open house hosted by Jerusalem Township to gather public comments on first concept plan
  • November: Second public open house hosted by Jerusalem Township for review and public comments on final concept plan

2014     Detailed Engineering and design for Howard Marsh phase 1 initiated

2015     Metroparks board adopts park name ‘Howard Marsh Metropark’ in April

2016     February: Final engineering and design work completed

April: Board awards contract to Mark Haynes Construction for phase 1 construction

2018     April: Howard Marsh Metropark phase 1 construction completed and park opened to the public

November: Detailed engineering and design begins for Howard Marsh phase 2

2020     October: Final engineering and design completed for Howard Marsh phase 2

December: Board awards contract to Mark Haynes Construction for phase 2 construction

2021     June: Final permitting completed and phase 2 construction begins

July-August: Anticipated completion of design for recreational improvements

December: Anticipated completion of phase 2 construction

2022     Spring: Anticipated public opening for Howard Marsh phase 2