Chesterton Tribune

Lions offer to adopt Coffee Creek Park

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Representing the Chesterton Lion’s Club, Mike Smith and Jeff Harper told the Chesterton Park Board Tuesday evening the club would like to “adopt” Coffee Creek Park.

“We think it is a wonderful little park,” said Smith.

He offered for the club to partner with the park department to get grants and help maintain the park.

The bulk of repairs of current damage to the park, caused by spring flooding, will be covered by Federal Emergency Management Administration grants, parks superintendent Bruce Mathias said.

Following those repairs, Lions Club members “are more than welcome” to help with the park.

“Thank you,” said president Vincent Emanuele. “That’s fantastic.”

In another matter brought to the council by the Lions Club, a shelter donated by that club in Dogwood Park still needs a concrete floor.

The Lions have a $750 grant from their state organization, which they will match for a total of $1,500, to help supply the concrete, Smith said, but a professional concrete installer is needed. A past quote was $2,200 for the total scope of the work, he said.

Mathias pledged to investigate the costs and get the project in motion as soon as possible.

Get out those cell phones

Concern that teens using the playground equipment in Coffee Creek, installed just a few weeks ago, may damage it, prompted Park Board member John Kroft to ask what might be done. “Could we put up some signs?” he wondered.

The resigned response “They’ll just vandalize it,” from fellow board member Roy Flaherty, shows the level of frustration park board members are feeling about ongoing vandalism in the parks.

Town Council liaison to the parks, Sharon Darnell, had a better idea. She issued a public plea for park users to get out their cell phones and digital cameras, document vandalism to the parks and take the evidence directly to the police.

“Just about everybody has one,” she said. “Community awareness can do a lot.”

Kroft added to the plea, “I’m just asking everyone to look out for our parks.”

In other business, the board adopted a resolution endorsing the Dunes-Kankakee Trail Plan. Chesterton Town Council previously endorsed the plan and town engineer Mark O’Dell told the board that the park board’s additional endorsement will be useful in applying for grant funds.

The goal is to provide a north-south corridor to connect existing bike/hike trails in Porter County communities.

The Park Department now has a total of $5,647 in their Porter Community Foundation Gift Fund account, they were informed by a letter from that organization. The board is allowed to use interest from that account for park projects, but not the principle amount.



Posted 9/3/2009