Metroparks Toledo acquired a 987-acre property in Jerusalem Township in 2008 with funding assistance from the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Clean Ohio Fund. This Howard Farms property was acquired with the specific intent to convert it from agricultural land use into a new Metropark (to be named Howard Marsh Metropark). This new park includes public recreational access to 571 acres of restored Lake Erie coastal wetlands habitat and 116 acres of new upland habitat. It also meets the drainage needs of the surrounding residential communities that rely on the property’s network of drainage ditches and earthen levees. At the time of the project, Howard Marsh was the single largest wetland restoration project completed under the GLRI. Metroparks Toledo was the winner of the 2018 Ohio Parks and Recreation Association Governor’s Award for Parks and Recreation for Phase 1 Construction of Howard Marsh Metropark.
With input from local citizens, government agencies and conservation partners, Metroparks developed plans for three adjacent and interconnected wetland impoundments, or “cells,” to be constructed over an approximately 600-acre area. Due to its size and volume, the largest of these wetland cells (“Cell 1”) was classified as a Class 1 Dam according to Chapter 1501:21-13 of Ohio Administrative Code; therefore, it had to be constructed in accordance with strict standards as administered and enforced by the ODNR, Division of Water Resources, Dam Safety Program. To comply with Ohio Dam Safety Program requirements, Metroparks hired Hull to oversee construction of this Class I Dam and the wetland areas and provide quality assurance testing, contractor submittals reviews, and certification documentation services.