The former Franklin Elementary School site is now a community public park.  A groundbreaking ceremony occurred in August 2015 and a grand opening ceremony held on July 21, 2018. Franklin Park is the brainchild of former Franklin Elementary student and neighborhood kid – Scott Niswonger.  Created through funding by The Van Wert County Foundation, Scott & Nikki Niswonger, and Van Wert City Parks & Recreation.

Installed in 2016 – site grading, new curbs, sidewalks, and underground utilities.  May 2017, began Phase Two construction.  Contractors built the pavilion, splash pad, 2-5-year-old playground, and 5-12-year-old playground. Along with the installation of electrical, site lighting, and site amenities – including benches, trash receptacles, picnic tables, and drinking fountains.  Planting of site-specific trees in the fall of 2017, by Laurie’s Naturescapes.  May 2018, the final phase of construction included a basketball court, pickleball courts, and a skate park.

Learn more about Franklin Park by visiting the City of Van Wert’s website.

Foundation Funds for Franklin Park project

Alspach Memorial Fund
Lee R. & Nellie Bonnewitz and Alice B. Andersen Memorial Fund
Clara Anderson Memorial Fund
John D. and Nellie S. Ault Memorial Fund
Wilbur G. and Urdine G. Bair Memorial Fund
Sarah J. Balyeat Memorial Fund
Glen Elwood Book Memorial Fund
David L. Brumback, II Memorial Fund
Carmody Family Memorial Fund
Ruth E. Cottingham Trust Estate
Harold B. and Dorotha F. Cully Memorial Fund
Charles E. and Velma R. Eggerss Memorial Fund
Mary Irene Eisenhauer Fund
Allie and Vernon Evans Memorial Fund
Delbert Fair Memorial Fund
The Oscar and Norma C. Feigert Memorial Fund
The Fergus Memorial Fund

Flickinger Memorial Trust
Russell and Dorothy Gilliland Memorial Fund
Otto C. and Marcia C. Gilpin Memorial Fund
The Gleason Fund
William H. and Mary A. Hetrick Memorial Endowment
Walter A. Hofmann
Charles L. Ireland Memorial Fund
James A. and Minnie C. Kesler Memorial Fund
Kenneth and Jeanne W. Koch Memorial Fund
Frank W. Leslie Memorial Fund
Louthan Memorial Fund
Ilo D. and Carlos E. Miller Memorial Fund
Ford G. and Marie Owens Memorial Fund
Max D. and Margaret E. Prichard
Oscar J. Scaer Memorial Fund
Julie M. Strete and Lawrence B. Strete Memorial Fund
Fred W. and Kathleen M. Wollenhaupt Memorial Fund