Chesterton Tribune



Public will have input on final site for new Hawthorne garden

Back To Front Page


The Orchard Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail through Hawthorne Park should be completed later this year, and when it is the Porter Park Board will turn its attention to development of a new landscaped, memorial garden.

The board is working on the project in cooperation with Bud’s Buddies, formed as a friends of the parks group to honor the late Park Board member Bud Tilden, who willed a monetary donation to the park.

Current Park Board member Jeff Bailey asked at Tuesday’s meeting if the decision is final to remove a large dragon play structure near the east shelter for the garden. He suggested getting public input first.

Board president Rondi Wightman said soliciting public input always was planned but it was thought the dragon, made from old tires, was probably outdated. Bailey said children love the dragon and a more quiet area of the park might be better suited to a memorial garden.

Wightman said the original plan was to open the project up as a design contest seeking sketches of what the garden could look like. The garden location would be part of an updated master plan for Hawthorne.

The Park Board will maintain its ties with Bud’s Buddies through the selection Tuesday of former Park Board member Patty Raffin to the Buddies’ board; Raffin formerly served as its park liaison. She resigned unexpectedly in May but agreed to continue her Buddies’ association. Park Board members last night thanked Raffin for her more than eight years on that board.

Raffin also was thanked for her leadership in organizing the Park Department’s Sounds of Summer free concert series at Hawthorne. Additional 2013 concerts will be the Stringsound Quartet on July 10, guitarist Peter Aglinskas on July 31, and the City Lights Band on Aug. 14.

The 7 p.m. Ravinia-style concerts include free dance lessons by Duneland Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m. in the gazebo. Food and beverages are available from on-site vendors.

Later in the meeting the board approved disbursements from the donation fund in the amount of $500 for the concert series, $500 for the Family 4th Fest, and up to $100 for baseball-field weed killer.

In other business, the Park Board voted 3-0 to allow Chesterton Pop Warner football to have an enclosed, outdoor beer garden during a fundraiser July 26 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hawthorne community building.

Pop Warner spokesperson Ann Garling Geiser said although the building holds 180 people, hopefully 250 tickets would be sold to raise money so the beer garden will serve as overflow space if needed. In its motion the board required two rather than one security officer be on-site during the event, and that proof of both a licensed caterer and insurance coverage be provided.

Four other rental-related requests were approved unanimously.

Full reimbursement of posted rental and security deposits was granted a family who had to cancel a June 8 party due to extenuating circumstances; rental fees were waived for the Porter Public Works Department to conduct a June 19 riverwatch class at Hawthorne; and pending an insurance certificate, permission was given to have a bounce house at a private party at Hawthorne July 14.

Also approved was hanging two banner signs in Hawthorne between June 30 and July 16 to advertise the Duneland Relay for Life cancer-awareness event on July 13. A Relay representative was told additional signs and purple bows on town property have to be OK’d by the Town Council.

In his park director’s report Brian Bugajski said the children’s summer park program is in its second week with additional themed weeks planned. He and board members thanked Leroy Flores for helping community-building renters negotiate Indiana excise rules as the park’s new alcohol policy is implemented.

Bugajski said June 28 is the deadline to submit applications to enter the Family 4th Fest parade; forms are available at the community center or at Wightman said the June 14 Summer Safety Fest was larger than in 2012 with nearly 400 people attending.

The Park Board approved six upcoming vacation days for Bugajski at his request. He and wife Kristi were congratulated on the recent birth of daughter Emily, the couple’s second child, and on moving into a new home. “It’s been a crazy month,” said Bugajski.


Posted 6/20/2013