Chesterton Tribune


Park board member confirms south county park in the works

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It’s been on the wish lists of many folks south of Division Road for years, but thanks to a retiring county commissioner it looks as if the dream of having an active recreational park in south Porter County will become a reality.

Towards the end of Thursday’s County Park Board meeting, board member and Craig Kenworthy confirmed comments made earlier this week by County Council member Jim Polarek, R-4th, that a group of officials who hail from south county have for the last few months been looking for land parcels available for recreational baseball/softball and soccer fields.

Kenworthy who resides in Morgan Twp. said he, Polarek, Park Board member Ruth Jarnecke of Kouts, County Council member Sylvia Graham, D-At Large, and new South County Commissioner Laura Blaney have had good luck in locating a section of land and are currently in negotiations with a landowner on acquiring an undisclosed property.

Kenworthy said it will be “a very, very nice park” and he expects the deal to be made sometime around March or April, when he can share more about what the plans are.

The effort began when the group wanted to fulfill a “parting request” made by Carole Knoblock, who retired from the south county commissioner seat this year, to have a spot where local residents can have a place to play sports and enjoy outdoor recreation.

The only county park south of Division Road is Dunn’s Bridge along the Kankakee River southeast of Kouts. The other parks – Sunset Hill Farm, Brincka-Cross Gardens, and the Calumet Trail – are located in Duneland.

Although not giving specifics, Kenworthy said the eyed property has reclaimed natural land and would also have some passive features like walking trails.

“It’s an incredible dream. It will enhance the quality of life immensely,” said Kenworthy.

He added that the Parks Foundation has given its nod toward the project and County Commis-sioner President John Evans, R-North, is willing to put up money for a land appraisal to be done.

Parks supporters Herb and Charlotte Read said they welcome the concept of having an active park in south Porter County and further encouraged the board to consider looking for land to acquire along the Kankakee River for passive recreation.




Posted 1/11/2013