The Porter County
Park Board decided at its meeting Thursday night to prioritize finding a
permanent home for the farm animals at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
Park Board member
Craig Kenworthy raised concerns about permanent housing for the animals amid
discussions about a croquet group which has approached the board about using
space at Sunset Hill Farm.
the board make a deadline for itself to remedy the issue and was in
agreement with member Canright in saying no other group should be given
space at Sunset Hill Farm until the animals--which include horses, goats,
rabbits, ducks, chickens, and turkeys--have a dedicated space.
“I don’t think it’s
a good location where they are,” Canright said. “I just want to have a
location where we’re proud of the way the animals are being taken care of.”
Kenworthy had said at a former meeting that the current housing for the
animals looks more like a petting zoo than a farm.
Schaefer-Murray, program director at Sunset Hill Farm told the board she
already has two or three suggestions for where the animals can go, and she
can send a proposal right away. Board President Rich Hudson offered to meet
with her before the next meeting to ensure that everything is in order. The
board hopes to consider the proposals and decide on a solution in March.
said the animal program operates an educational program at Sunset Hill Farm
Park hosting school groups and summer camps. Those who visit the park learn
about the animals and about conservation, and summer campers learn to care
for the animals.
She hopes the
program can eventually expand to also house cows and sheep. Finding a
permanent space for the existing animals will put an end to several years of
waiting and make these plans possible, she said.
In other business,
the Parks Foundation is still accepting donations for its Stockings for
Summer Camp project. Enrollment in county summer programs such as Camp
Funset increases every year, and each year children from families in need
require assistance from the Parks Foundation’s scholarship endowment to
participate in the programs.
The Porter County
Community Foundation is matching every dollar donated. Checks payable to:
Porter County Parks Foundation, P.O. Box 428, Valparaiso, IN 46384. E-mail
questions to email@example.com
The Illiana Garden
Railway Society (IGRS) is still awaiting a response to its application for
501c3 non-profit status. In the meantime, the group has created fundraising
brochures and plans to start participating in local train shows. The group
plans to relocate an outdoor model railway layout to a site south of the
pond in Sunset Hill Park.
IGRS has also put
up its annual Christmas display at Porter County Public Library’s Valparaiso
branch. IGRS President David Ransem thanked the library for providing space
again. “We always get a good response and appreciate the library having us
every December,” he said.