(rendering courtesy Hafer Associates of Evansville)
The city of Jasper has officially opened its $7.5 million, 75-acre central park. The Parklands of Jasper, which has been in the works for six years, features two miles of trails, 25 acres of woods, wetlands to be used for nature studies, and an indoor public event space, among other amenities. Mayor Terry Seitz's office says The Parklands is expected to become a regional destination.
The park sits on the site of the former Jasper Country Club, the owners of which approached the city in 2012 about possibly purchasing it. The city went through with the $1 million transaction in 2013 and resold about 10 acres to the nearby Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools. After two years of research, the city announced plans to create a "managed meadows" concept, which worked to keep much of the property in a natural state with limited structures.
The city says approximately $2.5 million of funding came from donations, grants or in-kind contributions from people and organizations, including the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.
The full list of park amenities includes:
Two miles of walking trails including multi-purpose paths
A walking signature bridge which is lighted at night to draw attention to park
Three ponds, all connected by elevated pathways, one which will be stocked by the DNR for fishing
Approximately 25 acres of woods
Two waterfalls which are fed from a well on the property
A wetlands area for nature studies
The Pavilion – an indoor public event space seating 160 people with a prep kitchen and a 2,000sf picnic deck overlooking a fish pond
A splash pad with three rock features and 42 jets
Four GTFit outdoor exercise pods from Memorial Hospital & Health Care Center with 10 pieces of exercise equipment
An Adventure Play Area featuring climbing rocks and balance beams
A Tree Fort
A Musical Playground
A connecting path from the City’s existing multi-use trail is being built this summer
The city says the development of The Parklands of Jasper created an "optimum platform for collaboration between the city, schools, state and the private sector."
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