BY SHERI TRUSTY
Port Clinton is known as a popular recreation destination that offers outdoor fun all around the lake, but that reputation is about to be blown out of the water. Thanks to a collaboration between the City of Port Clinton and the Park District of Ottawa County, the image that Port Clinton has earned as a fun hot spot will raise to another level when the Port Clinton Recreational Amenities Plan, which focuses on city park improvements, is implemented.
The city and the park district hosted a public open house at The Arts Garage on Thursday, Nov. 30 to introduce the plan and gain input from local residents. Jeremy Hinte from OHM Advisors (Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc.) explained the process and the importance of gaining public input through open meetings, one-on-one conversations and, most importantly, a public survey, which can be found here: https://ohmplanning.typeform.com/PCAmenities.
The survey gauges current use of existing city parks and gains insight on the changes that local residents and tourists would like to see added. Options include a splash pad, a pickleball court, a dog park, or anything else survey participants want to suggest. Attendees of the open house were encouraged to write down ideas and requests.
Devon Perry of Port Clinton said he would like to see a disc golf course added to Portage Park.
“The closest one around here is at East Harbor State Park. It would be nice to have one here in Port Clinton. I’d also like to see a dog park added,” he said.
Perry was impressed with the park project.
“I’m excited about the prospect of having some input on new amenities, and I hope they come up with ideas that will work for everyone,” he said.
A key component of the plan is identifying ways to connect parks to multi-use trails in development throughout Ottawa County.
“The park board is specifically interested in the active transportation components of the plan and how it could dovetail with other active transportation routes in planning stages throughout Ottawa County,” said Jannah Wilson, Executive Director of the Park District of Ottawa County. “It’s also exciting to evaluate the many possibilities for the park areas in the City of Port Clinton and how improvements could expand outdoor recreation opportunities in the area.”
According to information provided by the city, the plan will be based on “public engagement and feedback, public right-of-way and access, and availability of funding, among other factors.”
Funding, said Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider, will impact the project’s timetable and scope.
“It all falls down to the mighty dollar. Right now, OHM is in the midst of the information gathering phase of the project. Once there is a better understanding of the wants and needs of the citizens with respect to park amenities, then they will look at our existing infrastructure in and around the parks and determine what is needed and the feasibility of making it happen,” Snider said.
“Here is where the cost component makes an appearance. From there, it’s figuring out the city’s ability to capture funding to make things happen.”
In the meantime, the mayor is anticipating a new era of recreation in Port Clinton, and he hopes everyone who utilizes city parks will take they survey.
“It’s very, very exciting,” he said. “It’s great when we get to that point when the community and government come together.”