The Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Utica Marsh is a unique urban wetland situated partly on the edge of the City of Utica, partly in the Town of Marcy, sandwiched between the Mohawk River on the south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. The mixture of cattail wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools and flooded willows create a diverse marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds.
In the late 1970's, the City of Utica awarded DEC 50 acres of river floodplain with the condition that the state begin buying additional land here and managing this wetland area. Now the WMA 213 totals acres, has 2 observation towers, one handicapped accessible viewing platform, several trails complete with boardwalks over the wet areas, water control dikes, parking areas, a pavilion and car top boat launch site on the Mohawk River. A large parking lot and boat ramp are located on the Barge Canal just off the north west corner of the WMA and a bike trail passes along the marsh and barge canal on the north.
One important partner of Utica Marsh is the Utica Marsh Council, Inc. The volunteer members organize the marsh cleanup, the first Saturday in May, a major outreach event to City residents, to involve them in caring for the marsh. The Council is a big promoter of the Utica Marsh as an educational field laboratory and through their efforts, school and college classes from throughout the Mohawk Valley visit the marsh to learn about wetland ecology. Visit their web site to learn more about the marsh.
Other important friends and partners of the Utica Marsh are Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, Audubon New York, Department of Transportation, Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Utica. These partners and more met recently to kick of an effort to enhance the educational features of Utica Marsh that would include more of the eastern reaches of the WMA that are little used and include an Audubon New York educational center.
Get to Utica Marsh WMA by turning north off Route 5A (Oriskany Blvd.) onto Barnes Ave. There is a parking area at the end of Barnes Ave, down a little hill to the right, or the pavilion location is down a right-of-way lane to the right called Doucharm Road.
Web site devoted to Utica Marsh, maintained by Ernest H. Williams, member of the Utica Marsh Council, Inc.