The animal program
at Sunset Hill Farm County park will move to the NIHPA campground so the
animals can have more space.
The Porter County
Park Board made that move at its meeting Tuesday night, after previously
committing last year to find a permanent home for the Sunset Hill animals.
Before their vote, members discussed five potential sites for the animals
and the pros and cons of each.
Canright reported that he was among those who visited the five sites, along
with members of the Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association (NIHPA),
and they decided that either the current location or the NIHPA campground
would be the best spot. The animal committee suggested a one-acre site in
its five-year plan, Canright noted, and the NIHPA campground will
accommodate that better than where the animals are now. Both sites have
electricity available and neither is in the path of drainage. Canright did
say that there are some issues with the current site being more accessible,
but there also isn’t enough room to create the one-acre campus for the
animals without disrupting other activities at the park. It also has no room
Canright said that
he supports the campground location because it allows the animal program to
grow. “In the long run, it creates the situation where there is potential
for expansion beyond an acre.”
Kenworthy agreed. “Giving up a one-acre parcel behind where they are right
now would become very obtrusive,” he said.
Vice-President Rich Hudson asked how building the new location, which
includes a new barn, would be funded. Kenworthy responded, “We don’t have
the money to build the site. We all know that,” and added that the project
will require donations and fundraising. The Board and the animal committee
can look for donors, but not without a plan. “If we don’t have a permanent
site for the animals, then we can’t even start that process.”
The Board voted 4-1
to move the animals to the NIHPA campground with member Drew Armstrong
dissenting. Chris Richardson was absent.
emphasized that the animals won’t be moved any time soon due to planning. As
Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos reported, “We’re not moving the animals
NIHPA also agreed
that the new site was best for the animals but said that it will require use
of the space behind the amphitheater in exchange for it.