Multiple agencies develop farmland into Metropark

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CURTICE (WTVG) - What was once farmland in Jerusalem Township will soon be a new Metropark.

Right off S. Howard Road in Curtice sits 1,000 acres of restored wetland.

A few partners contributed more than $10 million into the project. Agencies like ODNR, NOAA, Smithgroup JJR, Ducks Unlimited, Great Lakes Restoration, Haynes Construction and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have been around since it's inception and some of their employees saw the site for the first time on Wednesday.

Todd Fox with Ducks Unlimited said, "we can't do this on our own and the DNR can't so this on their own. So we have to work collectively to make it come together."

Ohio's Governor John Kasich previewed the construction site and said "Toledo needs to claim this in a big way."

Gov. Kasich said people don't have to go out of state to kayak or hike anymore once Howard Marsh Metropark is complete.

"This is such a wonderful project and it really means that we've restored it to a working functional wetland and re-connected this area that was once farmland back to Lake Erie," said Jennifer Day, the NOAA Great Lakes Regional Coordinator.

Day said NOAA contributed $2.8 million into this project. However, when it's a collaborative effort it's somewhat easier to get to an end goal.

In the summer of 2018 people will be able to enjoy 6.2 miles of new hiking trails at Howard Marsh Metropark.