"To preserve, enhance, protect, and interpret the natural and cultural resources of Wood County."
The W.W. Knight Nature Preserve is located in Perrysburg Township, between Perrysburg and Rossford, on White Road just off East River Road (State Route 65). It's part of the Wood County Park District.
Web page: W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
Address: 29530 White Road, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
Opened to the public in October of 1997, the Knight Nature Preserve is a passive recreational and educational facility, giving visitors the opportunity to view and study the natural heritage of Wood County and northwest Ohio.
William Windus Knight was a local businessman, philanthropist, and nature enthusiast. His grandchildren donated this 42-acre parcel to the Wood County Park District in 1993. The Country Garden Club of Perrysburg saw its potential with its mature woodlot and location near the Maumee River. They were instrumental in preserving the land and making the accessible trail system possible. Local community members assisted the Wood County Parks in planning the Preserve, which includes a wetland, a pond, native prairie, and the Nature Center, which was built in 2005.
- Park open 8:00 a.m. to dark
- Native prairie
- 1.5-acre pond
- Constructed wetland
- Grassy meadows
- Crushed limestone trails through varied surroundings
- Boardwalk traversing the wetland
- Youth Fishing
- Seasonal ice skating.
- Two mini-picnic shelters (non-reservable) with two picnic tables in each (no grills)
- Heated, air conditioned and award-winning Nature Center with Lookout on Nature Area (LOONA) and gardens, plus rentable Hankison Great Room and William and Elsie Knight Library. This is the new home of the Program Department (Naturalists) and Ranger Department.
- Youth and family fishing only
- 17 years of age and younger
- Adults may only fish with youth
- No live minnows for bait
- Catch and release largemouth bass and grass carp
- No fishing in wetland area
- Prairie Dock .39 miles
- Wetland Loop .40 miles
- Wet Woods .52 miles
Award-winning Nature Center
The Nature Center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until dusk
Nature Center Architect Michael Muse of The Collaborative notified the Park District on November 8, 2005 that The Nature Center at W.W Knight Nature Preserve received an Honor Award through the AIA Toledo Design Awards Program. AIA Toledo is the regional American Institute of Architects chapter for Northwest Ohio. The program was established to celebrate design excellence and the submissions are juried by a group of architects outside of the State of Ohio. The Honor Award is the programs highest distinction.
The Nature Center offers year-round nature experiences with the Look Out On Nature Area, or LOONA, where (from within the building) visitors can view birds and other wildlife at feeders, in native gardens, and at water features.
Opportunities for hands-on nature activities are available to the public as well as school groups in the Educational Classroom.
Visitors may enjoy some relaxing, quiet time with a book in the Library. This spaces doubles as a meeting area for small groups.
The Hankison Great Room, available for rentals, has a serving-kitchen, fireplace, and accommodates up to 150 people.
Visitors can also participate in outdoor activities including gardening, writing, drawing, or meditation in secluded and specially designed areas of the LOONA.
The Nature Center is completed but fund raising efforts continue for this "Jewel of the Park District."
Visitors experience a variety of wildlife as they walk along the trails through fields, prairie, and mature oaks, along the wetland and pond, and on the boardwalk through the wet woods.
A few wing beats from the Maumee River, the Preserve invites songbirds, eagles, and waterfowl to look for food and nesting sites and is a welcome resting spot during migration.
Colorful dragonflies sparkle over the water, as swallows bank and swoop, and young people fish nearby. The prairie's native wildflowers are in their glory just as fall begins. Winter brings ice skating, cross-country skiing, and school groups looking at animal tracks in the snow.
- Wood County Park District Web page for W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
- Wood County Park District brochure for W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
Flickr photo set for W.W. Knight Nature Preserve.