Starke County Park Board Receives $5,000 Contribution for Yellow River Access Point

The Starke County Park Board has gotten $5,000 toward a planned Yellow River access point, but where exactly it will be built remains to be determined. Starke County Community Foundation Director of Development Jessica Martinovic presented the park board with a check during Tuesday’s meeting.

“One of our funds, the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund, the adviser of that fund, Chuck Hardesty, chose to give $5,000 to the Starke County Park Board for the canoe launch on the Yellow River, for that project,” Martinovic explained. “So he was really interested in that and wanted to support it.”

The project has been discussed for the past couple of years, but so far, hasn’t been able to move forward. The county has some land available at Range Road, but board member Rik Ritzler said it isn’t quite large enough for the proposed access point. “The area that’s the county property is too close to the bridge,” he explained. “You’d have to dig into the walls, the support of the bridge, and you don’t want to do that, obviously. So you’d have to get a little land.”

But County Attorney Marty Lucas said that so far, the neighboring landowner hasn’t been comfortable with the idea. “It’s a beautiful location,” Lucas said. “It’s really, basically, halfway between Wythogan Park and the point at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area, so it’s very logistically well-suited. Unfortunately, it’s a little small.”

A landowner in the Ober area had previously expressed interest in letting the county use a piece of land at State Road 23, as an alternative.