Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Kankakee River gift may create new county park

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The president of the Kankakee River Historical Society, John Hodson and his wife Mary discussed Thursday the possibility of donating 150 acres they own to the Porter County Parks Board.

Hodson said he would like the property to be looked after by an agency that would maintain it for the purposes of conservation, preservation and education.

The site sits directly on the north bank of the Kankakee River east of Baums Bridge Rd. and south of CR 1050 South in Pleasant Twp. and contains a half mile of river frontage. Approximately 100 acres are forest, 34 acres contain native grasses and seven acres are being tilled.

County Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos said the discussions so far are preliminary but he is excited for the chance for an expansion of the parks system. The area has many opportunities for historical interpretation and a section could be used as a boat launch and water trail.

“It opens a huge set of possibilities,” Lenckos said.

The board passed a resolution favorable to the project and for negotiations to continue between Hodson and the parks department.

Parks supporter Herb Read said he would to like to see a linear trail along the river in Porter County.

South County Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, who sat in on the meeting, said the Kankakee River area in the county is “loaded with beauty and history” and she is happy that the two sides are talking.

“Everyone countywide and generations to come would benefit from the Hodsons’ generosity,” Blaney told the Chesterton Tribune.

 

Posted 4/4/2014