Sediment from the Maumee River is helping Toledo Metropark go green

The material is being used to help trees and plants grow at Glass City Metropark.
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo shipping channel in the Maumee River is relatively shallow, so it has to be dredged on a regular basis to make it deep enough for freighters. Sediment brought up during that process is now being put to good use in a number of places including the new Glass City Metropark.

There are a lot of new trees and plants growing at Glass City, and most of them have flourished. That’s thanks in large part to the sediment.

The soil at Glass City Metropark presented a lot of challenges at first when it came to growing things.

“The soil had a lot of fly ash in it from industrial use over many years. The soil was not conducive for growing things, we certainly tried,” said Scott Carpenter, spokesperson for Metroparks Toledo. “This material has become a nice solution to that problem.”

The solution came from the bottom of the Maumee River. Sediment that’s taken out of the waterway to create a deep enough shipping channel is transformed into a useful product.

“When soil washes into the water, it becomes sediment. It’s rich in phosphorous and nitrogen,” said Carpenter. “You don’t want those things in Lake Erie, but it helps grow trees and plants like the ones here at Glass City Metropark.”

The Metroparks received a permit from the Ohio EPA to use the material, and the product that’s helping create green space is saving green.

“It’s reduced cost because this is a free material for us,” said Carpenter. “It’s taking a problem and putting it to good use. A solution on several levels.”

The trees and plants the sediment helped grow are in turn helping the environment.

“Here along the river, wetlands and plantings help filter the run off water before it gets into the lake, so that’s a benefit. Not to mention al the soil here is being kept out of Lake Erie,” said Carpenter.

So far, Carpenter says the product is producing great results.

“It’s done very well. We are extremely happy with the success,” said Carpenter. “So much so that we are requesting a permit for another 30,000-cubic-yards.”

The sediment is now being used in the second phase of Glass City Metropark.

Everything at the new Metropark is expected to be open to the public in June.

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