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Nahant Marsh

Nahant Marsh
4220 Wapello Avenue, Davenport

The Education Center is open
Monday – Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. - Noon.
There is no fee to visit the Education Center, but donations are appreciated.
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.

The 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.

Nahant Marsh, founded in 2000, serves thousands of people annually. So much so that it outgrew its original facility and, thanks to a $550,000 fund drive it was able to open a new 1,600 square foot addition in 2015.

The expansion allows the center to increase its educational activities with the addition of a large classroom, restrooms and storage space.

EPA Superfund Site

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.

For questions about Nahant Marsh Education Center, please visit the Nahant Marsh website or contact Brian at nahantmarsh@eicc.edu

Background

Nahant MarshNahant 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.

The 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.

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.

Nahant Marsh is home to more than 150 species of birds and 400 species of plants, and a wide variety of mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects, including several rare and endangered species The trails, dock, and bird blind at Nahant Marsh allow visitors to experience different habitats including:

  • Wet prairie meadow    
  • Mesic prairie        
  • Sand prairie        
  • Open water habitat        
  • Floodplain forest        
  • Vernal pond


Through Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Nahant Marsh Education Center offers a wide variety of environmental education programming for school, scout and church groups, colleges, seniors, homeschoolers and nature lovers of all ages.

The Nahant Marsh Education Center is a cooperative effort, supported by several local partners including the City of Davenport, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Davenport Community School District, River Action, Scott County, St. Ambrose University, Western Illinois University and the Singh Group at Merrill Lynch.