PORTAGE — For more than 26 years, Randy and I have lived here in the city that is the largest part of Portage Township. Portage Township is made up of Portage, Ogden Dunes, the Duck Creek subdivision and the unincorporated South Haven community.

We have been blessed to see these communities grow and mature over the years and have been proud to call this our home. While much of this column is about the positive things that go on in the city proper, many times you will see great things going on in these four communities because of Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy, his chief of staff, Nina Rivas, and their team.

One of today's topics brings back fond memories for us as parents and leaders in the Portage Little League community.

I remember very vividly the spring of 1999. Randy Jr. and Justin Olson were on the same Minor League team when we found out Justin’s dad was going to run for mayor for this third-largest city of Northwest Indiana. We were watching Chris play in an extra-inning game that went well past 9:30 that night when we found out from a friend that Doug Olson won that election.

It was where Randy Jr. hit his first home run and where Chris was picked to be on the All-Star team by his peers. It was weekends sitting on bleachers in either the scalding heat or under a blanket in below-normal, chilly breezes.

Over a year ago, the Portage Township trustee saved the former Portage Little League Park from the wrecking ball by purchasing the property before imminent demolition by the city. Clancy worked with members of the Little League board so that we may preserve the history of that park for all that played there. The township has removed dead trees, cleaned up brush, removed trash, kept the grass mowed, removed old fence guards and other general clean up since the purchase, but now comes the opportunity for the public to come out and give feedback on a presentation of proposed park features.

A public meeting will be held between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bonner Senior Center, 5800 Lexington, to collect comments on the development of Evergreen Park. This is part of the township's five-year parks and recreation master plan.

It’s so exciting to be able to preserve old memories and offer families the opportunity to create new ones as well.

Public participation is vital to ensure this plan addresses the community’s needs. Memories, old pictures and any history the community may have to offer are also welcomed to help marry the new and old.

Come on out to help Portage Township preserve and create new memories at this park for many years to come. But if you can’t make it, questions and comments can be directed to Portage Township Park Superintendent Joy Lundstrom at joy.lundtrom@portagetrustee.org or 219-759-5471.

This column solely represents the writer’s opinion.

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