There won’t be a
4th of July community celebration for the Duneland area this year in
The Porter Park
Board authorized park administrator Stephanie Miller to make the grounds and
buildings there available for private reservation that weekend after getting
no request from any group to reserve the park for community use.
Council member Jon Granat, liaison to the Park Board, told its members
Tuesday the consensus is it’s too late for his board to get anything going.
“Nobody has the time to devote to it.”
For many years a
committee hosted a 4th of July festival at Chesterton’s Dogwood Park, but
that ended. The Friends of Porter hosted a Porter sesquicentennial
celebration July 4-6 at Hawthorne in 2008; last year a citizen committee
organized an Independence Day festival there, and the Porter Town Council
helped sponsor a new fireworks display at Indiana Dunes State Park.
fireworks event will take place this year in the absence of a festival is
the Park Board heard a presentation from Porter director of engineering Matt
Keiser regarding several projects planned over the next two years in and
adjacent to Hawthorne Park. “You can see exactly what’s coming online so our
projects get coordinated with what you’re looking at,” he told the board.
includes sanitary sewer and stormwater upgrades, a redesign of Hawthorne’s
east entrance, more parking areas, and construction in 2011 of the Orchard
Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail along Waverly Road with a leg meandering
through Hawthorne. Using an aerial map, Keiser also identified areas on the
park’s north side near the Little Calumet River where a possible boat
launch, picnic area and bike/canoe rentals could be located.
Said Park Board
member Becky Maranto, “This is exciting. As a camper, when I go to new towns
I look for things like this for my family. It’s what I see at county parks.
To bring it down to our town level and to access it, it shows vision.” Board
president Patty Raffin said land to the north of the community building
still has a lot of room for park development.
this year several recreational agencies and their partners plan to clean up
the Little Calumet River making it navigable through Porter and beyond from
County Road 400 East to Indiana 149.
He added that
money is available for such projects, but the town has to do its due
diligence and weigh all the options, like who would staff the bike/canoe
rentals. Superintendent Jim Miller said the park needs to start planning now
and have its projects shovel-ready when grants become available.
business, the Park Board:
•Voted 3-0 with
member Jesse Campaniello absent to accept the $19,973 bid of Morton
Buildings Inc. to build a 42-foot by 40-foot pole barn shell on Hawthorne’s
northeast side. The building would be funded with town CEDIT money, revenue
raised through the Porter County income tax.
use of a community-building room at no cost May 11 at 6 p.m. for a joint
Chesterton/Porter program in cooperation with the Porter County Waste
Reduction District to distribute and explain the benefits of rain barrels.
Registration and a fee is required.
unanimously was a request from Save the Dunes to host its annual dinner
Sept. 26 in the community building as a fundraiser that promotes local food,
vendors, growers and producers. The rental fee was not waived, and final
details regarding alcohol service need to be worked out.
•Jim Biggs was
given permission to conduct a pancake-breakfast campaign fundraiser Saturday
in the community building; full rental fee will be paid but the board had to
approve charging for tickets at the door.
•Joyce Thomas of
Lakeshore Drifters 4-H won permission to meet the second Monday of the month
in the community building at no charge for a three-month trial period. At
its last meeting the Drifters had 145 people, said Thomas, and have to find
a new location because Brummitt School is no longer available due to
Duneland School Corp. budget cuts. Thomas said the youth, grades K-12, could
help the Park Department if needed.
members welcomed the offer, especially for the 1 p.m. March 27 Easter Egg
Hunt at Hawthorne. Last year nearly 400 children attended. The Easter bunny
will be on hand for fun and photos, and 120 dozen plastic eggs filled by Cub
Scout Pack 929 with candy and prizes will be hidden on the park grounds for
ages 1 through 9. Refreshments will be served. More information is available
at 921-1687 or on the park’s Facebook page.
Miller regretfully announced the Senior Citizens group that met for many
years in the community club is disbanding. Park Board member Rondi Wightman
invited someone from the community to reactivate the group, and Maranto said
the Park Department would be glad to welcome them back.
renovating the concession stand at the Hawthorne ballfield needs to be a
higher priority because of its appearance. Jim Miller said he has the
supplies and if he can’t find volunteers to do the work, he’ll make sure it
given the green light to find out more information about her suggestion that
the park sponsor summer cooking classes geared for 5th and 6th Grade
students. If well-accepted, additional theme-cuisine classes could be
offered. “I think there’s a huge need and you’ll be surprised at the
response you get,” predicted Wightman.