Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Park Board oks deer hunting program renewal

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Deer hunting will return to selected Porter County Parks this fall with a few upgrades.

The County Park Board voted 4-0 Thursday to continue the program for a second year and for program leader Bryan McFadden to put up fixed elevated stands.

Not only would it make it safer for hunters but it could enhance the odds of getting a deer.

That would be good for the hunters, as McFadden told the board that no one has been successful yet in taking a deer.

Hunting programs will be allowed on a wooded acre at Brookdale Park in Liberty Twp. and on a couple of secluded acres at the former prison property on County Line Road in Pine Twp. The hunts are limited to the use of bow and arrows.

McFadden proposed the hunting program about two years ago after the Department of Natural Resources declared a deer reduction zone in Porter County. The zones are created to help manage large deer populations and prevent destruction by overgrazing.

Part of McFadden’s proposal is to harvest the deer and donate the meat to local food pantries.

Despite not being able to catch a deer, the 2015 season still was a success, McFadden said. “No one got hurt. Everyone had fun,” he said. Twenty-one hunters signed up.

Opening up the elevated stands, he said, “would be a tremendous help.”

McFadden said the programs begin towards the end of October and continue until January.

Board member David Canright said there might be some places on the Hawk Ridge natural area off of Old Chicago Rd. in Pine Twp. that would be appropriate for hunters as there is evidence of deer there. Parking is however limited, he said.

NIHPA Lease/Fall Festival

It’s been in the making for a long time now but the Park Board is in reach of approving a new lease with the Northern Indiana Historical Power Association. The lease allows NIHPA to hold its events at Sunset Hill Farm in exchange for providing services to the parks department, such as maintaining the buildings and giving wagon rides at Parks events.

Board attorney David Hollenbeck presented a draft of the lease agreement with ten items, many of which have been previously agreed to.

Canright said the board should wait on the approval until fellow board member Craig Kenworthy had the chance to view the items. Kenworthy was absent Thursday as was board member Tom Schnabel.

In other NIHPA news, the 40th annual Fall Harvest Festival and Antique Equipment Show will be Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25.

NIHPA President Mike Andrews said Friday will be an education day with over 350 children planning to attend as well as a few senior centers.

NIHPA member Deb Armstrong added that the Porter County Museum will be recording oral histories for preservation during the festival.

Parks Foundation relationship

Meanwhile, Porter County Parks Foundation President David Neville expressed ideas on building the relationship between the non-profit Foundation and the Parks Department.

The Foundation is looking to refine its mission statement that supports the mission of the County Parks, to give “a clear understanding” of their relationship.

Neville said the Foundation also proposes a collaboration between the Foundation, Parks Department and NIHPA to help repair and restore the Superintendent’s House at Sunset Hill Farm.

Park Board President Rich Hudson said they could move forward with it and board member Drew Armstrong said he would assist in facilitating the collaboration.

Day of Caring

In his staff report, Lenckos recognized the efforts of about 125 volunteers who pitched in to help the department with four tasks at Sunset Hill Farm on United Way’s Day of Caring, held Aug. 12.

Some volunteers planted 1,500 types of native species for the pond restoration and others removed invasive species from the prairie.

Another group planted in the sensory plant trail and others installed musical instruments in the children’s playground. A grant from Praxair helped pay for the sensory plants and the National Association of Realtors contributed to the instruments.

Smith Ready Mix donated concrete for the playground.

“It was another phenomenal success,” Lenckos said.

Also, Lenckos told the board that more than 30 people attended the public open houses lending their input for the Parks’ new five-year master plan. Next, surveys will be sent to residents to fill out.

Photo club

During public comments, Deb Armstrong said that the Duneland Photography Club, which holds meetings monthly at Sunset Hill Farm, will be offering a class to the public there on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The class is called “Picture Taking for Inexperienced Photographers” and is open to anyone with an interest in photography, she said.



Posted 9/2/2016




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