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