Lake Pratt at
Indian Springs Park in Porter has been a great spot to hook bluegill and
crappie since its creation in the late 1960s
long-time Porter resident Meno Pratt, the lake was created by sand mining
operations for the construction of I-94, and for more than 50 years its
densely foliated shores were frequented by fishermen who braved poison ivy
and mosquitoes in search of the perfect catch.
In the summer of
2015, as the Park Department prepared for the inaugural MS4 Kids Fishing
Derby, a large portion of the southern lakefront was cleared and the poison
ivy was eradicated.
With the removal of
that vegetation, residents of the Woodlake Springs neighborhood and Park
Department staff noticed that park usage began significantly to increase, as
anglers began reporting catches not only of pan fish but also of catfish,
small and large mouth bass and northern pike.
As usage of the
park increased, however, a problem began to loom: a large elevation change
between the existing parking area and the lakefront left no easy or safe way
for park patrons get to the water.
In an effort to
rectify the problem, the Porter Park Department applied for, and was awarded
in late 2018, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan
Coastal Program Small Grant in the amount of $5,000 to help pay for the
design of an ADA accessible route between the existing parking lot at Indian
Springs Park and the recently cleared southern lakeshore.
After a competitive
proposal process, the town hired Abonmarche Consultants Inc. to complete a
study of the area and to produce a design that will allow people of varying
abilities to safely travel down the steep hill. Field and design work is
currently taking place.
Once the study is
completed and construction drawings have been created, the town plans to
pursue additional grant funding to implement the new design and further
increase the public's ability to safely access this amenity. A public
presentation will take place in June to showcase the work currently taking
place, and the outcome of the plan.
Funding for the
planning portion of the project was provided in part by the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural
Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program. The Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP)
supports coordination and partnerships among local, state, and federal
agencies and local organizations for the protection and sustainable use of
natural and cultural resources in the Lake Michigan region.
information please contact Brian Bugajski, director of the Porter Park
Department, at (219) 983-1042 or firstname.lastname@example.org