Zionsville secures $3.5M for proposed nature preserve
The Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department is being awarded two grants totaling $3.5 million to assist with the purchase and development of the Carpenter Nature Preserve. The department has been nominated for a $3 million Next Level Conservation Trust grant for the acquisition of the preserve and a $500,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for phase one development.
The department says the 215-acre nature preserve – land formerly used as Wolf Run Golf Course – is envisioned as a regional destination with amenities such as a new nature center, walking trails and boardwalks, playgrounds, outdoor classrooms, and overlooks and woodlands.
“With a project of this importance and the positive impact it is easy to advocate and find partners to share in that vision,” said Superintendent Jarod Logsdon. “Now the work begins. We are grateful to the Carpenters for stepping in to secure the land over the past two years, to our residents for supporting this journey and to the Indiana DNR and Governor Holcomb’s office for continuing to champion recreation and the conservation of our natural spaces.”
The department says the Next Level Conservation Trust grant will be used to reimburse the town of Zionsville for the cost of acquiring the land.
“I am extremely grateful to Parks Superintendent Jarod Logsdon and our entire Parks and Recreation team for the work they put into the grant process and into this remarkable future park. I want to recognize and thank the Carpenters – without them, we wouldn’t have generated this much progress and momentum. With the Carpenter Nature Preserve set to be the first park in Union Township and the largest nature preserve in our county, this will be a legacy for our current and future generations,” said Mayor Emily Styron.
Pending contingencies on the bonding process, the department says the preserve will open in late 2025 or early 2026.