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Experience Nature’s Evening Symphony at Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve

Posted on 5/13/2014 by State Nature Preserves

TOLEDO, OH – Thrill to the melodious sounds of a late spring evening along a wetland boardwalk in northwest Ohio by joining a free naturalist-led walk on Saturday, May 17 beginning at 8 p.m. at Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve in Lucas County.

Sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, this walk will focus on identifying the calls of breeding toads and frogs, and the territorial songs of secretive nocturnal birds such as rails, snipe, woodcock and owls.

Irwin Prairie is a mosaic of distinctive plant communities based on variations in water table levels, the core of which is a treeless, wet sedge meadow, considered the finest remaining sedge meadow in the state.

From the parking lot, the boardwalk sets off through a small grassy oak savanna which eventually gives way to a pin oak-dominated swamp forest. Once through the swamp forest the wet prairie opens to its greatest expanse. After walking for about a half-mile, the boardwalk then enters another swamp forest area, and opens up in to another section of secluded wet prairie called Grass Lake which is surrounded by trees and can be observed by elevated observation deck.

Comprising 226 acres, Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve has a handicapped accessible boardwalk which provides access through Irwin Prairie. The boardwalk is a 1.25 mile loop trail beginning and ending at the parking lot on Bancroft St.

Irwin Prairie is located in Lucas County about 10 miles west of Toledo. From I-475/U.S. Route 23, follow U.S. Route 20 west approximately 3 miles to Centennial Road, south about 1 mile to Bancroft Street, and then west on Bancroft to the preserve entrance parking area.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

For more information, contact:
Ryan Schroeder
ODNR Natural Areas & Preserves
(419) 445-1775
Heidi Hetzel-Evans
Ohio State Parks
(614) 265-6520