By MARGARET L. WILLIS
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
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?”
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.