Eliason Nature Reserve: The newest addition to the Portage Park system, the 123-acre Eliason Nature Reserve property was donated to the city in 2011 by Linda Eliason as a memorial to her late husband. This parcel was once part of the land owned by the adjacent Eliason Corporation where David was an innovative general manager in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The property is a combination of upland and wetland ecosystems and contains a large segment of Bishop’s Bog, bringing a majority of the bog under city ownership. Of significance is that the wetlands are part of the Bishop’s Bog complex, which is registered with the Nature Conservancy. Classified as a “relict bog,” Bishop’s Bog is the largest remaining bog of this type found in the southern Lower Peninsula and possibly in the entire Lower Peninsula. Through this gift, the city now manages almost the entire 250-acre bog complex. In addition to providing unique habitat, Bishop’s Bog is a critical natural storm-water drainage system for the community.
A park master plan for the Eliason Nature Reserve was prepared in the fall of 2012. In 2013 an additional 18-area parcel was acquired by the city for inclusion into the Eliason Nature Reserve that provides access to Osterhout Road. The first phase development was completed in the summer of 2016 when a 1.6 mile recreational non-motorized trail was completed, linking Osterhout to the existing network of trails at Portage Industrial Drive.
The City of Portage is thankful to Linda Eliason for this generous donation. A large monument along Shaver Road south of Vanderbilt Avenue has been placed on this site as part of the donation.
Address: 1614 W. Osterhout
Pets: Pets are allowed except where posted. Posted areas include: picnic areas, playground and Ramona Park beach. Pets must be restrained on a 6’ or retractable leash, inoculated for rabies and never left unattended. Persons in charge of or in control of pets on park property shall be responsible for clean up and removal of excrement deposited by such pets.