Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Park programs successful, board is told

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The Porter County Park Board heard a report at its meeting Thursday that Camp Funset and other summer park programs were successful.

“The bulk of our programs went really well,” Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos said, “even with the added protocols and restrictions and the reduced participation.”

“We were really excited to provide a safe space for the kids,” Lenckos said. He added that parks staff were surprised some kids were particularly upset to leave this year because what comes next in school is uncertain. “Some of them were crying the last day,” he said. “There are so many unknowns for them after spending eight weeks with us, and for many of them it was their last year with us.”

Kids who have aged out of Camp activities can now go through the Leader-In-Training program, though, which was new this year, and successful in spite of COVID-19.

“We thought we would only have a few kids,” Lenckos said, but there were three two-week sessions of Leader-In-Training, each with five or six future leaders. “They had fun and learned what it means to be a mentor to young kids.”

Lenckos thanked the parents and others who volunteered in the track and field program and thanked the Board for its diligence in reviewing and approving Park staff’s plan to hold socially-distanced programs.

Lenckos reported staff is now starting to work on fall programming, including improving virtual offerings and making the field trip program more accessible to the public in light of many schools going virtual or not holding field trips and a possible uptick in homeschooling. There are also plans to ramp up park stewardship/maintenance efforts and citizen science programs with the extra time not spent on school programs.

The Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association (NIHPA) reported it has canceled its annual show due in part to finances and in part to COVID-19. This will be the first time since 1977 that there is no NIHPA show.

The Illiana Garden Railway Society is hosting a circus train day tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 8 at its location at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. President David Ransem noted IGRS is now able to run up to seven trains at once.

Ransem also asked about water being provided to the IGRS site for topping off their pond, watering their plants, and potentially for drinking. Park Board President Craig Kenworthy said the Board will look into it.


Posted 8/7/2020





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