MIDDLEPORT — The village of Middleport is looking into grant opportunities for the Marina area of the village.
In recent weeks, village workers have been spending time clearing brush and old trees from the area along Leading Creek, as they prepare for the grant application process.
Village Administrator Joe Woodall explained that there are currently three grants through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources which the village is looking to apply for in the coming months.
The Step Outside Grant, which is for outdoor education, is for $500 and could be used to put on a youth fishing derby or similar event at the Marina.
The Aquatic Education Grant is for $800 to $5,000. It could be utilized for a fishing clinic or similar events, and would include an ODNR officer coming in and teaching those in attendance.
The third grant would be an archery related grant. Woodall explained that the grant, which would be up to $20,000, would allow for the construction of an archery shooting range to be constructed in the Marina area. The idea is that the archery range could be for public use and target shooting, as well as potential student use for the school archery programs in the area.
Woodall said that he recently met with ODNR wildlife officer Chris Gilkey with regard to the possible grants available for the area and was please that Gilkey saw potential for the area.
The overall goal with the cleanup of the Marina and the grant applications is to provide a green space for all ages to enjoy. Woodall said the vision for that area would include an area for kayaking and fishing, camping, and other activities.
“The village has a need to get youth involved in outdoor recreation,” said Woodall. “A lot can be done in the Marina and there is potential to create a green space for all ages.”
While the focus at General Hartinger Park has been more on sports and athletic recreation activities, the Marina space would provide green space for other types of activities.
The village is also working on a Nature Works grant for the area, which could be used for repairs to the lot and ramp area, as well as picnic tables, fire rings and eight primitive camp sites (for tent camping) at the Marina area.
In addition, there would be the possibility of placing swings which would have a view of Leading Creek, as well as tables and grills.
Woodall said that the picnic area would be ADA compliant, to allow for access for everyone. He noted that the area could be utilized by those at Overbrook Nursing Home which neighbors the area, or other groups in the area, for picnics and outings.
A decision on the Nature Works grant, which is up to $34,800, is expected in the fall.
With the potential upgrades in the Marina, Woodall said that village council will be asked to consider a curfew in the area and that police presence could increase as well.
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