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outdated.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
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
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
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