Winamac Park Board Establishes ‘Friends of the Parks’ Group

Entrance to the Winamac Town Park
Entrance to the Winamac Town Park

The Winamac Park Board is hoping to make it easier for residents to help out with the town’s park facilities. Park Advisory Council Chair Dave Bennett told the park board Thursday that many people and organizations would like to get involved but don’t currently have a method for doing so. “There’s so much talent and time out there we can harness if we just ask for it and publicize it a little bit so people know what we’re doing,” he said.

To help do that, the park board voted to allow the advisory council to form a “Friends of the Parks” group, similar to the one that currently exists for the Tippecanoe River State Park. Its members would assist with various projects suggested by the advisory council, such as park cleanup or planting flowers.

It was one of several ideas members of the newly-formed advisory council brought before the park board Thursday. Bennett also asked whether the town had a system in place to accept monetary donations directly for park and recreation facilities. One of the purposes of the advisory council is to encourage people to donate to the parks, but where exactly those funds should go still hasn’t been finalized. “I think people are ready to do that now,” Bennett said. “I know bequests come up, and I would like to have that ready and give them some direction.”

Town Attorney Justin Schramm said the town council may consider establishing a non-reverting fund specifically for that purpose. The park board would then be able to spend that money for designated uses.

Similarly, Bennett asked where people should be directed if they want to donate trees to one of the town’s parks. The addition of donated trees has been discussed during previous meetings, but members have expressed concern about making sure they’re placed appropriately throughout the park system.

In the end, the park board decided to have Park Manager Dave DeLorenzo coordinate any tree donations the town should receive. He would then work with the Winamac Tree Committee to determine what type of tree should be planted, where, and when.