I put the question out on a group text, and strangely enough, I received a lot more instant responses than when I asked for help moving an old couch up from the basement. People here really like to share their happy places. Where is Your Happy Place in NW Ohio? By Ed Conn As the TSN staff and volunteers prepare for Issue 108 and the theme of Positivity, I started pondering on the question, Where is my happy place in this corner of the world? I thought immediately of the Maumee River and my intimate relationship with this body of water, the largest feeder river into Lake Erie. Saga and I live along the western banks of the Maumee and benefi t from the gorgeous views every day: sunrises to the left and sunsets to the right. Straight out our deck we can see Audubon Island, host to a few pairs of nesting bald eagles, and nature’s Airbnb to visiting mergansers, mallards, tundra swans, blue heron, and others traveling North and South along the Mississippi Flyway. Toledo Lucas County Libraries The smell of books still gets me. As a kid growing up down the road from the Maumee Branch, I spent many summer days in the quiet stacks or perusing through the card catalog looking for a book to take me on an adventure. As an adult I’m amazed at how easily I can order exactly what I want: a mystery based in the Middle Ages, research about a local event or historical building, cookbooks, how-tos and lots of movies and music. Most of all, I know I can count on a librarian to guide me on where to fi nd what I’m looking for – even the most obscure. The Library is also the hub for activities that will be coming back soon: STEM events and reading clubs for kids, guest speakers, arts activities, even a cookbook club. Library membership is free. Sign up! Karen Gerhardinger Without a doubt, my “happy place” is rowing on the Great Maumee River, especially early in the morning when the river is as smooth as glass and all you can hear is the birds chirping even though we are in downtown Toledo. Steve McNally Weber’s Restaurant on the patio by the river on a Sunday afternoon with live music. Thursday night’s jazz in the garden at the Botanical Garden. Old West End walking, biking or driving around looking at the architecture. The beach at Maumee Bay. It’s hard to choose just one. Pam Weirauch Upon refl ection…any of the Metroparks. Michael Galbraith I kayak on the river during the warm season, and if the ice is solid enough, snowshoe out the island, 300 yards from my home, and a thousand miles from any thoughts of chaos, strife, and craziness. Pre-pandemic, I rowed on the river with the Toledo Rowing Club, sitting starboard side smack in the middle of an eight-person sweep boat pulling our way on weekday evenings to the I-75 bridge and back to International Park. Page 4 Walking the “in town” alleys of Perrysburg. Dean Kasperzak Cruising on a boat on the Maumee River. The Cloisters at the Toledo Museum of Art. Patrice Spitzer Outside of being anywhere with the people I love, my happy places are the museum, Metroparks, symphony concerts and walking on the river downtown. Kathleen Davis Anywhere by water. I’m particularly fond of Swan Creek and Middlegrounds Metroparks. Arika Michaelis I would say anywhere I could get comfortable with a good book. Or walking in our beautiful parks listening to nature while watching spring unfold. These things make my heart happy. Terri Camp On the river; in our boat. Nick Camp One of mine is defi nitely the Crane Creek preservation area. Curiously, there’s a little grove of unmarked gold dawn redwood sequoias growing out there that I loved fi nding. Also the protected beach there has the most amazing outcrop of well preserved fossils in huge limestone boulders, also being a peaceful place. Deanna Metts Oak Openings Metropark. Erin Peterson In my rowing shell launching from Toledo Rowing Club at the dock. Ann Broderick If you asked me about a year ago, I'd say the metro parks. Today, as hatred towards immigrants escalates and after being called names while we walked through our beloved metro parks, our happiest/safest moments are spent in our own home - behind locked doors. Anonymous, Immigrant turned citizen Oak Openings Scout Trail By Karen Gerhardinger The echo of pileated woodpeckers knocking on hollow trees, the sight of a dozen deer leaping over fallen trees, the symphony of early spring frogs preparing for mating season – these can all be experienced in a walk along the Oak Openings Scout Trail. The 17-mile trail around the exterior of the Western Lucas County park is one that I tackled in one eight-hour day with my husband early in the pandemic, but continue to take on in segments several times a week. From oak stands and prairie to sand dunes and Swan Creek tributaries, the trail offers a chance to really get away from it all – especially as it’s less traversed than the shorter trails. One day I sat on a bridge and marveled at the sunlight illuminating bubbles popping up from a log submerged in the sandy bottom of a creek. During another walk I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk circling over a pond that appears each spring for frog mating. In the winter it’s not unusual to see the prints of coyote, deer, fox and rabbits crisscross the path. Getting away takes only a pair of decent hiking boots (bring plastic bags to cover your feet in case you encounter wet areas), some water and snacks. Hike for a few hours or the whole day and come back Fostering Community

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