Sugar Creek Nature Park Now Open

Sugar Creek Nature Park Now Open
3/24/2010
Journal Review
by Jay Heater

On a chilly Tuesday morning, Mayor Charlie Coons stood at the gate of the new Sugar Creek Nature Park trying to remember everyone who had a hand in its development. Coons named organization after organization, and business after business.

When he was finished, MS4 Operator Gary Weliver stepped forward. “Mr. Mayor, we want to thank Home Depot.”

With a big smile, Coons nodded. He couldn’t remember everyone.

“We talk about community and unity,” he said. “This isn’t a one-man band.”

Indeed not. It took a total community effort to get one of Coons’ pet projects to reality.

About 50 people attended the grand opening of the park. Included were representatives from organizations that offered support such as Nucor, the Montgomery County Community Foundation, Indiana American Water, Vectren CEL&P, the League of Women Voters, Crawfordsville Schools Corporation, and the City’s MS4 and Parks & Recreation departments. All believed in the project.

“We need people to be aware of what’s in the future for our kids and our grandkids,” Coons said. “Our Sugar Creek Nature Park committee was made up of just workers. That’s what it takes in this kind of environment.”

Crawfordsville Parks & Recreation Director Roger Neal thanked the Mayor for spearheading the effort.

“Every parks director has the desire or dream to be able to construct a new park,” Neal said. “But it is tough to convince elected officials that you need something like this.”

Neal’s maintenance staff constructed the shelters in the park in what Neal called “record speed.”

“This has taken a big team effort and I have seen nothing but a positive response from the community,” said Troy Mitchell, a driving force on the committee.

Nate Mullendore of the Friends of Sugar Creek said his organization is “ecstatic.”

“This has become a green space for the community,” he said.