A Hancock County park will expand by 25 percent with help from the state’s Bicentennial Nature Trust. The Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department’s Beckenholdt Family Park, established 15 years ago, will now cover around 75 acres.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the financial contribution from the trust served as a match for the purchase from a "generous bargain sale" by custom home builder Dave Sego and former IndyCar driver Mark Dismore.
With the new addition, the city’s parks department will extend wetland walking trails on the property. Park Superintendent Ellen Kuker "park users really enjoy the two wildlife observation decks overlooking the wetland. It’s very exciting to complete protection of the entire wetland."
A local citizens group, the Park Advocacy, Research and Conservation Society, raised the initial private funding in 2000 to acquire the first 60 acres and transfer it to the city.
The Bicentennial Nature Trust is a program that coincides with Indiana’s upcoming 200th anniversary of statehood. It’s funded through $20 million from the state and $10 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. The Bicentennial Commission, which is overseen by the Lieutenant Governor’s office, has approved nearly 160 projects. More than 90 of which, for a total of 8,664 acres, have already been complete.