The Dr. John E. Braun Memorial Park on Catawba Island at Resurrection Lutheran Church has been a bright spot on the peninsula since it was created in the late 1960s, a place for children to play and people to enjoy picnics or an evening stroll.
It can be difficult to keep the park in tip-top shape, though, said E. Donald Dougherty, the park treasurer. A non-profit, Braun Memorial Park receives no state, county or township funding to operate.
With volunteer help and an array of funding grants, the park recently completed a pole barn, a necessary addition that is being used to house all of the equipment for children’s sporting events.
“This project was made possible by grants and volunteers,” said Dougherty. Contributing were Resurrection Lutheran Church, Harry Stensen Memorial Fund, Ottawa County Community Foundation, Doris Titsworth Trust Fund, JVS Garage Door Company and the Catawba Island Garden Club.
There is plenty of work ahead, as well.
“We wish to thank those donors in assisting our plans to keep this children’s park operational,” said Dougherty. “We have 18 additional projects that need our attention and are currently in our plans. When we feel it is necessary to ask for assistance, we want to offer opportunities to participate with us.”
The original church site contained 18 acres a half century ago. Six of those acres were used for the church and parsonage. The remaining 12 acres were purchased and then donated to the church as a recreational area for the community.
The permanent park was dedicated in memory of Dr. John Braun and pledged to recreational use. The park has several baseball fields, a tennis court, playground equipment and a shelter house. Many other activities are enjoyed in the park as well.
For those wanting to volunteer, The Braun Memorial Park mailing address is P.O. Box 207, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.