The town of Plainfield has acquired 1,800 acres of land near the Indianapolis International Airport. The $1.6 million deal includes 140 acres that could be used for economic development purposes. Most of the land is protected and reserved for conservation.
The 1,700-acre protected portion of the land includes wetland areas and critical habitats for the endangered Indiana Brown Bat, as well as other species of fauna and flora. It also includes the Sodalis Nature Park, which is managed by the Hendricks County Parks Board. The town says it will look to improve recreational amenities in the public-use portion of the park.
"Plainfield is known for award-winning parks and trails and this deal really magnifies our continued devotion to our community by providing more features," said Town Council President Robin Brandgard. "Our long-term vision for this land is to capitalize on the opportunity to provide additional recreational use and create a regional park. We hope it can also be an opportunity to educate people about endangered species in Indiana and the methods for protecting them. Ultimately, our efforts with this property will be for the betterment of the endangered Indiana bats."
The Indianapolis Airport Authority announced in 2015 its interest in selling the land as part of its Land Use Initiative. The goal was to return non-aviation land back to the community and the local tax rolls.
"This is a prime example of airport land contributing to the quality of life for local communities and economic development," said IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. "We’re excited to see how our neighbors and key community partners, the Town of Plainfield, enhance this area through ongoing conservation efforts for the benefit of all."