Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions we often receive can be found below. Please email us through our Contact page to request information and reserve facilities.


What is The Broughton Foundation?

The Broughton Foundation is a private not-for-profit foundation founded in 1991 by Carl and Elizabeth Broughton. Development, maintenance and management of the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area (“The Park”) and the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building (ESB) is the Foundation’s primary mission. The Foundation was also the principal donor to the Carl L. Broughton Boathouse.

The Foundation is managed by Ruth Broughton, Mary Broughton, and George and Nancy Broughton who have the full support of their families and a volunteer board of directors.

The goal of the Broughton family is to become the best-managed privately owned public park in Ohio. Success is thus measured in the usage of Park facilities and assets.


Why a nature and wildlife park?

Co-founder Carl Broughton and industrialist Bernard McDonough of Parkersburg were very close friends. Community philanthropy was a common interest. When Mr. McDonough developed an outdoor recreation area on Rosemar Road near the Vienna, WV public park and athletic fields, Carl and Elizabeth Broughton decided to do the same for Marietta, donating land they already owned and launching the Foundation. 

The McDonough Preserve is now managed by the City of Vienna, WV, whereas the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area is self-sustaining and is privately managed through The Broughton Foundation.


What is The Park?

The Park is an educational and recreational area of mostly undisturbed habitat that has been made available for education, recreation, and environmental study. Its natural features include three ponds, a stream, and a waterfall. Other features include an extensive hiking and mountain biking trail system, cross-country courses used by Marietta City Schools and Marietta College, two disc golf courses, a large shelter and grounds area, two smaller picnic shelters. Park access and convenient parking is available through three entrances.

The Foundation was also involved in the development of the Devola Multi-Use Trail (DMUT).

The Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building, shelters, and grounds are available to rent for special events. 

Maps are available at Maps are posted at the shelter located near the main entrance on State Route 821 as well as at each trail head and intersection. 

How large is the Park?

Combined with a donation of 160 acres of wooded trails known as the Rudolph Family Park, the Foundation manages and maintains 750 acres of woodland trails and meadows. Broughton/Rudoph properties are connected to the Marietta Trail System and the DMUT.


How do Park features come about?

Ongoing collaborations between The Broughton Foundation and various trail committees, cross country coaches, disc golf enthusiasts, hiking and mountain biking groups, naturalists, ecological restoration stewards, Eagle Scout candidates and others have been extremely successful in developing the area for additional activities and public enjoyment. Every feature is available for public use.


What is the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building?

The Community Building is located on State Route 821 near the main entrance to and activity center of The Park. The building is designed for meetings, presentations, training, and social events. It has a kitchen for food brought in by users and caterers, a presentation system and many other features. Call 740-374-9396 to reserve the building, grounds, and other facilities.

Local governments, schools, nonprofit organizations and other community-oriented groups and organizations will be accommodated for a nominal fee for maintenance. Businesses, professionals, families and groups can also rent the building for private or public events.

The Community Building is the largest building project undertaken by the Foundation. Over the years, the Foundation has also been associated with other projects that contribute to economic development and to the quality of life in the community. The Foundation was the principal contributor to the Carl L. Broughton Boathouse on Gilman Avenue in Marietta.

Through prudent management the Foundation has the resources to launch projects of this size and to make them self-sustaining. Having control of resources and activities allows a private foundation to operate very efficiently.


Why a community building?

Suitable facilities are not always available when needed. Public meetings are often held in spaces that were not designed and equipped for large gatherings, thus the need for a multi-purpose facility that can be used for public and private events year-round. The Foundation also believes that the development of such a facility would be the type of project that Carl and Elizabeth Broughton would endorse. 


Does the Foundation accept contributions?

Yes. Several suppliers, contractors, affiliates, friends, user groups and individuals have made substantial commitments to the Foundation in support of the ESB Building as well as to Park maintenance and future development. Most gifts have been financial, although many gifts of materials and in-kind services also help the Foundation do more for less.


Gifts to the Foundation may be sent to the Marietta Community Foundation:

  • Gifts to the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building should be marked “ESB Building.” 
  • Gifts in support of Park trails, ponds, picnic areas and grounds should be marked “Park Maintenance.” 

Financial gifts to the Foundation will be used entirely for maintenance and further development. Contributions in kind are also appreciated. 


How can the Foundation be contacted?

Contact The Broughton Foundation at 639 State Route 821, Marietta, Ohio, 45750; call 740-374-9396; or visit