We will be known for developing Ohio’s best privately managed public parks and gathering spaces.

 — George Broughton

The Broughton Foundation is a private nonprofit organization established by Carl and Elizabeth Broughton in 1991. The Foundation is managed by members of the Broughton family and hands-on members of a volunteer board of directors. George Broughton serves as President of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s primary mission is the development, maintenance, and management of the

    • Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area (Broughton Park)
    • Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building
    • James-Fisher Park
    • Rudolph Family Park

Foundation properties have been developed for the community and are maintained for public use.

The Foundation has been associated with other projects contributing to economic development and quality of life in the community. In addition to being the principal donor to the Carl L. Broughton Boathouse, the Foundation played a key role in developing the very popular Devola Multi-Use Trail (below).

The Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area encompasses 540 acres of undisturbed habitat. These woodlands are available to the public for education, recreation, environmental study, and gatherings of various types. Much of the Park’s development has been related to trails and natural features that preserve the quiet beauty of a forested area.

The Foundation’s natural assets increased dramatically in 2022 when the Rudolph family deeded 160 acres of adjacent woodlands with trails to The Broughton Foundation. The Rudolph land and trail system is known as Rudolph Family Park.

With the Rudolph family’s generous gift of land, The Broughton Foundation manages nearly 800 acres of adjoining woodland parks and trails for non-motorized public use.

Broughton/Rudolph trails are situated in the northernmost section of the Marietta Trail System. The Broughton/Rudolph properties and trail systems are accessible from Ohio State Route 60, Ohio State Route 821, and the Mill Creek Road parking lot in Marietta.

Ongoing collaborations between The Broughton Foundation and various trail committees, cross-country coaches, disc golf enthusiasts, hiking and mountain biking groups, naturalists, scouts, stewards, and others have been highly successful in developing the parks for additional activities and public enjoyment. The Broughton Foundation views its land and facilities as works in progress.

The Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area is a large area of native Southeastern Ohio forest that is available for recreation, education, and environmental study. Its natural features include three ponds, a natural stream with a waterfall, rock outcroppings, a variety of plants and animals, and several areas of undisturbed habitat. Other features include:

    • A community building
    • An extensive hiking and mountain biking trail system
    • Cross-country courses
    • Two disc golf courses
    • A shelter and grounds area
    • Two smaller picnic shelters
    • Three entrances with convenient parking

The Devola Multi-Use Trail was completed in the spring/summer of 2018. The trail is 10 feet wide to comfortably accommodate walkers, runners, bicyclists, walkers/joggers with strollers, and others.

The Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building (ESB) is conveniently located at The Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area’s main entrance and activity center (State Route 821). The building is available for weddings, meetings, presentations, training, recreation, social events, and all types of gatherings. It has a kitchen for food brought in by users and caterers, a presentation system, ADA-compliant entrances & restrooms, a patio with a grill, a fire pit, lots of parking, and many other features. The Broughton Family dedicated the Community Building on October 4, 2019. ESB is the largest building project undertaken by The Broughton Foundation.

James-Fisher Park, a historic roadside park from the early 1930s, was donated to the Foundation by the James families in 2019. Built on the banks of the Muskingum River by the State of Ohio in the early 1930s, the scenic and popular picnic spot had fallen into disrepair. The James families acquired the Park, restored it, added a historical marker, and renamed it. In collaboration with The Broughton Foundation, the James families are stewards of James-Fisher Park.

Rudolph Family Park, a 160-acre tract of adjacent woodland trails, was entrusted to the Foundation by the Rudolph family for maintenance and further development, directly linking all local trails in the Marietta Trail System.

Gifts to the Foundation are welcome. Financial contributions may be sent to the Marietta Community Foundation (MCF).

    • Financial gifts sent to MCF to support Park trails, ponds, picnic areas, and grounds should be marked “Broughton Foundation Park Maintenance.”
    • Financial gifts sent to MCF supporting the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building should be marked “Broughton Foundation ESB Building.”
    • Gifts in Kind are also welcome.

Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building Fund

Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area Fund

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Gifts to the Foundation will be used to maintain and further develop Foundation facilities for public use.