Chesterton Tribune



Businesses support Sunset Hill playground

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The in-development natural children’s playground at Sunset Hill Farm continues to attract donations from businesses.

Porter County Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos on Thursday revealed three companies who are wanting to extend some generosity.

The National Association of Realtors has agreed to pledge $2,500 to help purchase musical instruments for the playground. Praxair, which was one of the businesses participating in last year’s Day of Caring by paving a path for the playground, has also agreed to donate for sensory plants for the native garden. Third, Lenckos said Smith Ready Mix of Valparaiso will provide the parks department with concrete.

The natural playground replaces the former playground area near the main entrance of Sunset Hill Farm.

“I am extremely excited that these (organizations) are partnering with us,” Lenckos said.


Also, Lenckos announced to the Park Board that the Parks Department’s any-bullying program has been selected to be one of the beneficiaries of Porter-Starke Services Casual for a Cause campaign.

Porter-Starke employees can dress casually on Fridays when they donate funds. The funds are distributed to local organizations that promote wellness in the community.

Lenckos said with the help of Porter-Starke, 50 more local kids will be able to partake in the parks’ anti-bullying program.

Thursday’s board meeting included more talk about fundraisers. This month through June, Figure 8 Brewing in downtown Valparaiso (150 Washington St.) will give 25 cents per every order of its “Where Lizards Dare” beverage as part of its quarterly “Philanthropint” fundraiser to the County Parks Department.

Lenckos said the community is invited to “Homebrew and Hops Night” on Wednesday, April 20 at Figure 8 Brewing for a presentation on brewing and local hop farming which will feature the Where Lizards Dare drink.


In other news, Lenckos said the parks department will be applying for grants available through The Conservation Fund and the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program for the further development of Hawk Ridge Natural Area, one of the newer county park properties. Formally known as the Cain property, the location is on Old Chicago Rd. near CR 500E in Pine Twp.

The 137-acre property had been purchased using grants, including one from The Conservation Fund.

Also on Thursday:

-- The board approved 6-0 to request the County Council’s approval of creating a new programming coordinator position using the salary money approved for the former parks planner.

-- Lenckos said he will seek an outside firm to conduct a community needs survey for the updated Parks Master Plan to be updated later this year.

-- Porter County Parks Foundation President David Nevill said the Foundation is continuing to look at refurbishing the Superintendent’s House at Sunset Hill Farm. The Foundation would like to seek bids on the structure, he said.

-- The May-August edition of the parks programming guide will be mailed out to residents in the next few days.



Posted 4/11/2016




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