Ottawa County

Oak Harbor’s New Master Plan Gaining Support

Submitted by OHDG

The Oak Harbor Development Group has recently released the new Community Master Plan to several local groups asking for their support. To date, the Village of Oak Harbor Council, the Benton-Carroll-Salem School Board and the Oak Harbor Rotarians Club all passed “Resolutions of Support” and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback for the group’s forward-thinking vision.

The Group is an independent, volunteer committee leading revitalization efforts in the Village of Oak Harbor and surrounding areas. They work with local business owners, elected officials, village administration and area residents to improve and develop potential tourist destinations to retain and encourage new investment in the community.

The plan includes many conceptual improvements along the Portage riverfront detailing shelter houses, boardwalks, bike trails and even an amphitheater. They also described plans and ideas to enhance the Veterans Memorial Park with updated Tot Lot equipment and shade canopies, enhanced winter activities near the sledding hill with a new fire pit and ice skating area, and a fitness trail encompassing the park with several exercise stations.

The Village of Oak Harbor is also considering making other improvements to the park such as revamping the tennis courts into sand volleyball courts and rebuilding the aged skate park equipment.

Mike Shadoan, chairman of the OHDG, says they are working closely with the Park District of Ottawa County to establish potential ideas for future bike trails connecting the schools to community neighborhoods and out to the industrial areas of Lake Winds Industrial Park. Shadoan is also actively working with the Portage River Water Trail Committee to officially designate the Portage River as a water trail and designing several entry points throughout the river with kayak/canoe launches. The first public launch has already been developed and installed in downtown Oak Harbor at the end of Church Street and proposed plans are being finalized for another launch in or near the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. Several other locations are being investigated as well.

“We are constantly reaching out and collaborating with many groups to continue to move these ideas forward for the betterment of our communities, our families and our visitors,” said Shadoan. The primary focus of the Plan is to raise awareness of the historical, educational, recreational and natural value of the area and encourage economic development. Further details of the Master Plan and how you can offer your support can be found on their website at