Toddler Tales Program

book iconBring your little one to learn about nature through stories, crafts, and outdoor adventures.

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Homeschool Program

boot iconNature-based lessons for grades K-9 are offered monthly onsite or as scheduled.

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Adult Education

earth iconNahant Marsh offers a variety of classes and workshops for the adult learner.

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Welcome to Nahant Marsh

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.

A hidden treasure in the Quad Cities


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.

An ecological treasure worth saving


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 For questions about this website, please contact Bryan at

Building Expansion

Nahant Marsh has completed the construction of a 1,600 sq. ft. building addition, parking lot addition, and viewing platform without disturbing any native habitat. The addition, which made use of recycled material, geothermal heating and cooling, and natural light, will allow us to serve additional people, especially during winter months.


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Nahant Marsh

LogoThe Mission of Nahant Marsh Education Center is to preserve and enhance the ecological integrity of the marsh and to foster wonder, appreciation, interaction, and stewardship of the natural world through education.

Contact Us

Nahant Marsh

4220 Wapello Ave.
Davenport, IA 52802