“High and Dry” concept or the “Green Mile.” There is also an
alternative that is a hybrid of the two, building up the trail around the
South Shore Dunes Park train station while increasing the natural aspects on
Calpino said all three alternatives would fit within the $2 million budget
set for the project. The funding comes mainly from a federal transportation
enhancement grant and some from the Northwest Regional Development
The “High and Dry” option, which has been ranked the most popular option so
far, would have a two-foot concrete ribbon curb and a new box culvert to
control drainage. It would also have a trailhead next to Ind. 49 which would
connect it with the Dunes-Kanakee Trail with amenities such as benches and
possibly a shade structure.
Board member David Canright said he feared the signage could be susceptible
to vandalism like the covered bridge that was recently removed. Calpino said
signs and amenities would be located in visible, open space where
surveillance would be possible, unlike the bridge which he said was located
in a remote area.
Calpino said that work is expected to begin next spring and there will be a
public meeting soon to discuss the final concept. SEH has also met with
stakeholders such as NIPSCO, which owns the right-of-way that the trail is
The ultimate goal, Calpino said, is to make the trail the best of its kind
in the state since it connects with other trails and national and state
“It has the potential to be something really magical,” he said.
Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos said the parks department is responsible
for maintaining the Calumet Trail but the park board will not have final say
on how the trail is designed. The approval will need to come from the County
Commissioner board, Lenckos said.
Raise the Barn
Later, the board deliberated what its next move should be in the charge to
get funding from the County on the Raise the Barn project at Sunset Hill
Farm County Park.
The funding motion was tabled by the County Council a second time when the
request for $1.5 million from hospital sale interest funds was resubmitted,
but Council members did not indicate when they would consider it again,
Board member Craig Kenworthy, who was at the council meeting, said one of
the County Council members wished to see a business plan showing how funding
will be maintained. Other County Council members at that May 28 meeting said
they had concerns about allocating the funds when they did not yet know how
much will be received in the County’s general fund from the spring tax levy
Park board attorney Dave Hollenbeck said there is not much the board can do
in this situation since it seems factors beyond its control are stalling the
situation. Board member Rebecca Tomerlin said there are a few things the
Council is trying to “iron out” and hopes it won’t take too long.
Lenckos said programs at Sunset Hill Farm are overreaching their capacity
and having the administration building for more programs will help meet that
“We still are positive for the project. There is still a need for it,” he