Grape expectations:Put-in-Bay Township Park District raising funds turn family vineyard into farm park

The Put-in-Bay Township Park District could use your help in raising a million bucks or so.

What is it: The district is working to raise $1.1 million for the purchase of an 11-acre parcel of property owned by Walt and Sue Duff behind the Duff home on Bayview Avenue. This would be the third and final phase of the property acquisition, according to information from the district. 

The history: Over more than 100 years, four generations of the family have tended this vineyard, the grapes grown there then sold to local wineries. In recent years, five varieties of grapes have been grown there, according to the district.

The plan: “The Park District envisions this property as a public farm park with trails, historical grape production, orchard areas, public events involving historical farm activities such as grape picking and cider making, nature watching and photography (a bald eagle nest is close), environmental education, habitat improvements, pollinator prairie and even the potential for a portion of the property to be a wedding/event venue,” the provided information states.

Expected to be enjoyed by township residents and visitors alike, the park would be walking distance from downtown Put-in-Bay.

Donation options: Options range from sponsoring a row of grapes in the vineyard for $5,000. A $10,000 donation earns that, as well as a private within the vineyard. Have $25,000 or more to spare? You’d be honored with a permanent donor recognition display either at the Duff Homestead or within the vineyard.

How to get involved: Send a check to Lake Erie Islands Conservancy (LEIC), P.O. Box 461, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, with Duff Vineyard on the memo line. For more information, call Lisa Brohl at 419-366-2087 or Kendra Koehler at 419-341-2725.