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Observing nature within the city

You may be finding every reason to stay inside right now. But some are getting out into our Metroparks to take in the sights and sounds that many people drive across the country to see and hear.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:37 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Our Metroparks offer all kinds of opportunities to see some really cool bird species. And you don’t have to wait until the warm months to be able to do that.

Husband-and-wife duo Mark and Sherry Plessner lead urban birding walks in some of Toledo’s Metroparks.

Sherry Plessner is a volunteer with Metroparks Toledo. She tells 13abc, “You don’t have to travel far. And the great thing about some of these urban locations is that public transportation can take you there. So, everyone can come.”

That means Metroparks and other spots within city limits.

“Urban birding happens at Swan Creek Metropark, Middlegrounds, and Woodlawn Cemetery. I was just out there this morning.”

The Plessners say that our urban Metroparks offer a unique look at some special species.

Mark Plessner is also a volunteer with Metroparks Toledo. “We have osprey here, bald eagles. This summer we had a black crown night heron,” he says. “These are birds that people travel hundreds of miles to see. And they were here, and they got to see them walking around their park. It belongs to them.”

“Birds are just fascinating creatures. There’s such a variety and they capture our imagination,” Sherry adds.

All Lucas County residents live within 5 miles of a Metropark. But with public transportation, everyone within city limits has easy access to some Metroparks, with or without a car.

“That’s something that our great Howard Marsh and Oak Openings don’t have. You can’t get there on public transportation. You have to have private transportation to get there.”

The Plessners lead birdwatching, even on frigid winter days, at Manhattan Marsh. They say all are welcome to join them on the first Saturday of each month at noon in the parking lot. They spend an hour and a half walking an almost two-mile trail while birdwatching. No signup is required.

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