BY SHERI TRUSTY
Hanging out at Portage Park just got a lot more fun. The last piece of new playground equipment was installed recently, giving the park a bright new space for area boys and girls on Taft Street on the west side of Port Clinton.
“What we had there was pretty limited. It didn’t even have swings, and now it does,” said Sandye Ostheimer, Administrative Assistant for the City of Port Clinton.
In addition to new swings, slides and other modern equipment, the playground also now features engineered wood fiber ground covering that replaces the mix of grass, old wood chips and mulch material that previously lined the playground.
The $70,000 Portage Park Playground Revitalization Project was funded in part by a $15,000 Park District of Ottawa County Parks and Trails Improvement Grant. The park district recently began accepting applications for the 2023 round of grants.
“When the city is able to partner with outside agencies and reduce the city’s cost for needed recreational improvements in the community, residents will see more and more amenities across our community,” said Port Clinton Auditor Gabe Below. “The Portage Park Playground Revitalization Project and the newly-completed Waterfront Walkway at the Jefferson Street Pier are terrific improvements, and both are excellent examples of the city securing outside financial support to significantly reduce costs borne by Port Clinton taxpayers.”
The park’s design was chosen by Ostheimer, who worked with a playground vendor on equipment selection and color scheme.
“I told them what we were looking for, and they gave me a mock-up,” Ostheimer said. “We collaborated and put this together.”
Portage Park is a 12-acre, all-season park with a shelter house available to rent for private parties and events. Thousands of people use the park each year for flag football, soccer, and other sports. They host family parties on the grounds and go sledding on Taft Hill. Now, they can play on brand-new playground equipment as well.
Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider saw kids enjoying the playground equipment on the first day.
“This new equipment will draw many new families and friends to Portage Park and really maximize usage of this wonderful space,” Snider said. “I encourage all residents to visit and enjoy the new playground.”