Toledo council wants prairie on Anthony Wayne Trail well kept

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 7:04 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As the city of Toledo prepares its mowing schedule and plans for 2021, city council members say one spot in particular needs to be watched. One that’s actually overseen by the Toledo Zoo.

When you enter the Zoo off the Anthony Wayne Trail side or just drive along the Trail in the summer, you see some of the native plants in the median. They were planted there as part of a natural habitat plan but the city wants to make sure it’s clean looking.

The program is called the Wild Toledo Prairie Initiative. There are several sites county-wide, and one of the most visible is on the Anthony Wayne Trail in front of the Zoo.

Some council members have complained for years about the plants growing there and how sometimes they look unsightly and unkempt. This issue came back up again Tuesday as council members asked the city to talk with the Zoo about making sure the area is trimmed and kept neat.

Zoo officials tell 13abc they use these prairies for monarch butterfly habitats and that their biologists manage them to get rid of an invasive species like weeds. There is also a grass area between the prairie and the road itself.

Council members today say they want to make sure the city is working with the Zoo on that area, especially in a summer with international Solheim Cup travelers.

“It’s been a mess, so if the Zoo is going to be working with us, I think if they do a better job then people will be more accepting of this being the right thing to do,” said Toledo city councilmember Dr. Cecelia Adams.

“We have had the conversation. We’re going to try and stay up on it a little bit. These beds are largely mainly managed by the zoo and are programmed to plant natives. It’s a dance,” said Karen Ranney Wolkins, Toledo’s Parks Commissioner.

The city typically does a fall cut off the area but zoo officials tell 13abc it actually happened just a few weeks ago. So that’s why you don’t see much yet but getting into May you’ll see more and more of the prairie pop up on the Trail.

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