Nahant Marsh is a 265-acre preserve nestled in southwest Davenport. It is part of a 513-acre wetland complex that is bordered by the Mississippi River, Interstate 280, and Highway 22.
Hours: The Education Center is open Monday – Friday 8:30-4:30pm and Saturdays 9:00am-Noon. Trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. If the main gate is locked, trails are accessible from the front parking lot. Look for the opening in the fence near the kiosk.
Most people in the Quad Cities have passed the Nahant Marsh without realizing it. If you’ve driven over the I-280 bridge, then you’ve seen the wetland! The marsh area encompasses different wetland community types including bottomland forest, open-water habitat, and a marsh–all surrounded by suburban, industrial, and agricultural land. Where did the “Nahant” name come from? No one knows for sure, but it could be that settlers to the area named it after a saltwater marsh town called Nahant, Massachusetts. Or it could be that the word means “land between the waters” in a Native American language.
Not long ago, Nahant Marsh was in danger; some of its wildlife and plant life were dying or deformed. After years of being used as a sportsman’s club, investigations showed that the Marsh had high levels of lead. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, River Action, Quad City Audubon Society and Iowa DNR came together to try to save the Marsh and conserve its biotic community. The EPA declared the Marsh a Superfund Site and began an extensive cleanup of the lead. After the cleanup, wildlife and plant life showed a vast improvement. So much so that it was decided to make the wetland a nature preserve; thus the birth of what it is today. This continuing effort is a real-life illustration of stakeholder participation, environmental cleanup actions, and rejuvenation. The Nahant Marsh Education Center was formed to educate the public about this local ecosystem. To learn more about the history of Nahant Marsh, purchase the documentary “Resurrecting the Wetlands: The Story of Nahant Marsh”.
For questions about Nahant Marsh Education Center, please contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about this website, please contact Bryan at email@example.com.
Volunteers are needed for Nahant Marsh’s Annual Spring Cleanup on Saturday, May 2, from 8:30-11:30 a. m. The cleanup is put on in honor of Global Youth Service Day, the largest annual service event in the world. Each year on this day millions of youth work together to improve their communities. Volunteers will be pulling invasive plants, helping with plantings around Nahant or assisting with the riverside cleanup. All ages are welcome, but youth ages 5 and up are especially encouraged to join us for this day!
- Free t-shirts will be provided to the first 100 volunteers of the day.
- Please bring water bottles and wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty.
- Parking is limited. Please carpool if possible.
- Snacks and beverages will be provided.
- This event will take place rain or shine, so please dress for the weather!
Date: Saturday, May 2
Time: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.