Library Director Jesse Butz was at last night’s Porter County Park Board
meeting to thank the Board for its partnership in making a story board trail
at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
Butz said the
Porter County Friends of the Library contributed $8,000 towards sturdy story
board signs for Sunset Hill, and Parks staff will be installing them. There
will be a total of 20 signs between 100 and 200 feet apart. The signs won’t
rust or rot because they’re made of coated metal.
To make the signs,
Butz said stories from PCL children’s books are mounted on banners and those
banners are placed on museum-quality boards that go in the signs. “Between
each sign there will be some sort of activity, like ‘jump on one foot from
here to here’ or ‘be on the lookout for this piece of nature,’” Butz added.
Butz said his staff
will be changing out the books every few weeks, and PCL Librarians will
visit the Park to do pop-up story times in an effort to get kids who love
the Parks interested in the Library, and vice-versa.
The story board
trail will begin at the parking lot, weave through the playground area along
the road to the pond, and continue along Redbud Trail, leading back to the
Superintendent Walter Lenckos said he was excited to bring back story boards
with the new partnership. The Parks Department had a story board trail
before in collaboration with Parents As Teachers. “The signs weren’t used
because they couldn’t be continually updated. It used to be very popular,”
Lenckos asked for
the Board’s approval to seek an additional appropriation from the County
Council to make the last payments related to the Horton Children’s Center
building project. The $65,856 is in the Parks budget, but needs to be
allocated for the payments. Lenckos also wanted to transfer $2,075 out of
worker’s compensation to pay for a copier fee.
Before the Board
voted, Board members Drew Armstrong and Annetta Jones and Vice-president
Rich Hudson made a point to thank the Parks Foundation for all its work
fundraising for the new grain-bin-shaped Children’s Center.
There was no
discussion before the vote. Jones, Armstrong, and Hudson voted yes. The
motion failed 3-1 when Board member Bryan Waisanen voted no.
Waisanen, who was
the Parks Foundation’s President until June, is in his third month on the
Board. He was appointed by the County Commissioners’ in July after the Board
of Commissioners had previously left its appointment to the Park Board
vacant for over a year.
Only four members
of the Board were present last night since Board President Craig Kenworthy
was absent, and one of Judge Mary Harper’s appointments to the six
member-Board is vacant. Four of the six members must agree to approve any
actions, no matter how many are present.
Waisanen said after
the meeting that he “couldn’t in full faith vote in the affirmative on the
motion” because he was uncomfortable with one of the items contained in the
request and had further questions about it.
A ribbon cutting
for the Horton Children’s Center, which was funded entirely without taxpayer
money, is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.
NIHPA Show and IGRS
In other business,
the Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association is gearing up for its
busy month, according to President Nick Misch. The annual NIHPA Steam and
Power show is Sept. 27 to Sept. 29. On Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. there will be a
dinner with pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and cole slaw. Tickets for
the dinner are $8. The show will mark 30 years of the group being based at
Sunset Hill, according to Misch.
that the Illiana Garden Railway Society (IGRS) has made great strides in its
area of Sunset Hill, where it has a model railroad track and storage shed.
“I was amazed at how nice it looked,” Hudson said.