, 2022-10-24 21:39:15,
Oct. 24—CHARLESTOWN — The City of Charlestown has received a 70-acre land donation to use for a park in the southern part of the city.
When Sharon Kleinert heard that the city needed land for a new park, she saw an opportunity to help Charlestown. The former owner of the property said the park is “a much needed piece of the puzzle.”
Mayor Treva Hodges said Kleinert initiated a meeting with city officials and expressed her desire to help.
“She had three parcels of land and each one was a little different size, and she slid them across the table and said ‘Which one do you want?’,” Hodges said.
Shadow Lake Park, which will be located off High Jackson Road, is still in early development, but the city has already met with people from state parks to make sure what they plant is native to the area. They also want to hear from the community to know what residents want from the park.
Features for the park have not been finalized, but early plans call for trails and a civic center with a focus on arts and alternative sports, such as archery.
“We want to highlight those natural features,” Hodges said. “We don’t want this to become a concrete jungle. We want it to remain in its natural beauty. That’s a major goal here.”
Before the donation from Kleinert, the city only had 46 acres of developed parks which is below the national standards. Charlestown has a target acreage of 63 to 136 acres of park for the size of the city.
With this donation, the city will be within the target of parks acreage. The next step the city is taking for the park is a scoping period which includes connecting Shadow Lake Park to the developments within the park as well as schools and neighborhoods.
“Living the farm life for the past 30-plus years, has made the intrinsic beauty and value of land so evident and apparent,” Kleinert said. “Watching our Southern Indiana communities grow and fill the land, it is vital to provide green open space where residents may appreciate the beauty of nature and relish time spent outdoors. I am happy to provide this acreage to the City of Charlestown to create a park for its residents to enjoy.”
In addition to the 70 acres, Rick Wheeler has donated 7.8 acres behind Clark “Doc” Werner Dog Park that will expand the walking path toward a tree canopy and could potentially house a disc golf course. River Ridge Development Authority has also donated 106 acres to the city that has potential to be turned into a park as well.
“It’s particularly rewarding to have these…
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