Marsh Foundation Undertaking Major Pond Enhancement Project
VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation property includes a pond which has been a long-time favorite spot for the youth on campus. They have spent a lot of time there grilling out and fishing. However, activities coordinator Sherry Grone saw much more potential with the space. In 2019, The Marsh Trustees approved a comprehensive enhancement project which is nearing completion.
Several improvements can be seen from the road. New fencing has replaced the old and there have been two docks installed that will provide a better fishing experience, as well as a place to launch canoes. One may also serve as a potential swimming or cool off area. The youth on campus have already enjoyed the new sand volleyball court. The improvements are meant to beautify campus, but also offer functional benefit to the youth and staff. According to Grone, the project will directly benefit the youth in several ways. “It will promote hope, pride, and motivation in our youth. It will be a space where they can feel proud of and excited to use,” she said.
Other improvements include updated restroom facilities and a sandy beach area. One enhancement that is not easily seen is water treatment to improve the water quality for fishing and swimming. Further plans this fall include the planting of more trees and the installation of a fire ring. The goal is for the improved space to be an outdoor setting that promotes health, well-being, fun, relationship building and responsibility. It will also be used by staff and provide a great environment for teambuilding exercises.
There is a lot of evidence-based research that supports this enhancement project. Grone pointed to evidence that playing outdoors and spending time in nature reduces attention problems. “Spending time in nature regularly can reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” she said. In addition, she pointed to things like increased creativity and lessened stress and anxiety. “A beautiful, functional pond area really has a lot of potential ways to benefit our youth,” she said. Jeff Grothouse, executive secretary and treasurer, and The Marsh maintenance staff oversaw the completion of the project.
The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides services in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, family foster care (ages 0-17), an intensive treatment program, adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization’s group homes are licensed for up to 30 children ages 7 – 17, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12 and provides a variety of clinical services to group home residents, foster care children and community members.
Photo caption: The Marsh Foundation’s pond enhancement efforts are becoming evident with new docks and a sand volleyball court.