Hello from Toledo!

owlberta snowshoe_reduced

Toledo MetroParks

The sun is shining, the spring birds are singing, and the crocuses are blooming here in northwest Ohio! We’ve had several days in the 50’s, and one that topped 60°. The good ‘ol Maumee River has flowed over its banks once again, depositing massive ice chunks throughout Side Cut Metropark. It certainly feels like spring is here.

Of course, it did snow yesterday.

After I started writing this, I realized that I described this situation’s opposite in my very first blog post; it was 55° in December. At that time, we were eagerly anticipating snow so that we could put our brand new Tubbs Snowshoes to use. Yesterday, the snow was met with a little more angst, and it wasn’t even enough to squeeze in one last snowshoe. Barring an April blizzard (which wouldn’t be the first) this may be my last blog post for the Get Outdoors program.

Metroparks of the Toledo Area had a blast snowshoeing this winter! We were able to reach so many people who might otherwise have spent the entire winter inside. Staff received countless thanks from participants who were happy to have access to a fun, safe, beginner-friendly wintertime activity. There was only one participant who wasn’t able to fit into our Tubbs Snowshoes—Metroparks mascot Owlberta the Barred Owl, whose feet are just a little bigger than most. One feedback comment said it best: “We were so glad to get great exercise and to once again enjoy the beauty of our Metroparks.”

Metroparks programmers really enjoyed the challenge of incorporating snowshoes into our usual programs. We were all surprised at how many unique snowshoeing adventures we came up with! We brought our snowshoes geocaching, across Fallen Timbers Battlefield National Historic Site, under the moon, on photography walks, to a local high school’s gym classes, and even on an expedition to find beavers. We love the versatility of this activity; anywhere we go, the snowshoes can come, too!

We cannot thank Tubbs Snowshoes enough for giving us and our patrons this amazing opportunity. Thanks to the Get Outdoors program, we were able to turn “the slow season between fall and spring” into “the bundle-up-and-get-your-butt-out-here season of adventure”! One comment I’ve been hearing recently from both Metroparks staff and the public is that they wish the snow could stick around just a little bit longer. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone in Ohio make that wish, so I consider this winter a great success in softening some harsh feelings toward That White Stuff. We can’t wait for next winter’s snowshoe fun!