Project Name: Duff Homestead and Bayfront Preserve
The Put-in-Bay Township Park District received a $50,000 Park District of Ottawa County Parks and Trails Improvements Grant in March of 2023 for the purchase of 6.5 acres including 150’ of lakefront, 2.5 acres of grassland, 2.0 acres of woods, and the Duff family home and outbuildings.
Other funding included grants from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, Shores & Islands Ohio, the Julene M. Market Fund, the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, and a fundraiser held at The Goat Biergarten and donations from the property owners.
The purchase of the 2 acres of woods was complete June 30, 2023, and the remaining 4.5 acres on August 31, 2023. It is a beautiful view of Put-in-Bay harbor on the only portion without docks providing valuable habitat for fish and submerged plants. The woods provide a spot for bird watchers, and the grassland will be converted to pollinator habitat with funds secured by the Lake Erie Island Conservancy from the USFWS. The buildings are being converted for use as a visitor center, office and maintenance area opening in the summer of 2024.