Metroparks Meetup: Glass City Metropark taking shape in East Toledo

Ribbon-cutting for Phase 1 slated for October
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:52 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo skyline will provide the perfect backdrop for Metroparks Toledo’s most ambitious project yet. After years of plans falling through amid debate on what to do with the riverfront space of the old Marina District, Glass City Metropark will provide the answer.

“You can see there’s a ton going on down here,” says Metroparks executive director Dave Zenk. “There’s a lot of progress being made on a project we’ve talked about for a few years, on a site that the community has talked about for the better part of 20 years.”

Zenk says the planned 70+ acre park on the Maumee River solves the debate between using the space for economic or recreational benefit, opting for both -- citing the Marina Lofts as one recent example of breathing new life into this narrow strip of East Toledo.

“We’re building a great world-class riverfront park,” says Zenk, “but next to us, this public investment has already spurred significant private economic response, in a portion of our community which had really been forgotten about for a long time.”

The centerpiece building has a unique shape and purpose. It will be completely glass-enclosed, for one, and visitors will able to walk right up on the rooftop. “The roof itself will be vegetated with native plants,” explains Zenk. “It’ll give you not only elevated views of the park, but the riverfront as well.”

That’s good news for any concertgoers or fireworks watchers next year, and the fun doesn’t stop there. A new kayak cove has been sectioned out in the river, allowing for water activities away from the main shipping channel. A boardwalk with “adventure play” elements scattered throughout will provide the main border for the cove.

There are even future plans to connect this park to others in a 5-mile loop on both sides of the mighty Maumee.

“We’ll build a new bridge across Main Street,” Zenk says, “with a bike trail that will link the two sites [Glass City and International Park] together. The goal of this project is really to create a hub of vibrancy in the downtown core, that will spread across 5 miles and connect 6 individual neighborhoods in ways they’ve never been connected before.”

There’s lots to do, and not a lot of time to do it -- the ribbon cutting on Phase 1 of Glass City Metropark is slated for this October -- but both the creative team and construction crew on site say they’re ready to rise to the challenge.

For more details on this newest addition to the Metroparks lineup, visit their website.

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