Nucor Donates $5k to Nature Park

Nucor Donates $5,000 to Nature Park
Journal Review
By Andy Barrand

Since opening 20 years ago, Nucor Steel has been committed to being a good steward of the environment.

On Thursday morning, Nucor continued in that tradition by presenting Mayor Charlie Coons with a check for $5,000 for the Sugar Creek Nature Park.

“We’ve proven that it is possible to operate a successful steel plant while being environmental stewards,” said Ron Dickerson, vice president and general manager, Nucor, Crawfordsville Division. “Our support of the Nature Park along Sugar Creek is the perfect blend for us.

“It enriches the community and will attract our own employees and local residents as well as visitors, and it enriches the environment because it creates an outside place that is welcoming.”

The project that has been in the works for a number of years has started to take shape over the last couple of months. During a ground-breaking ceremony on Aug. 18, work on the first shelter began. The park encompasses 64-acres of land on the east and west side of U.S. 231 on the north side of town, taking in the Elston Park.

“This is fantastic,” said Coons. “The trail is totally a community thing.

“Over the past three months, we have seen more families using the trail on weekends.”

Along with becoming a great environment for families, the park will serve as an educational tool. Environmental learning stations will be placed along with trail where students can learn about wetlands, soils, geology, water testing, topography, erosion, levels of forest and more.

“What better place to teach students about the environment because the ground is always changing?” said Coons.

Shannon Hudson, a Tuttle Middle School teacher, has been the driving force behind the education stations.

“Shannon has been a huge driving force behind this project,” said Coons. “The committee has been great because we are all working toward the same end goal.”

Coons said Nucor’s donation might go toward finishing one of the larger shelters or be used to fund a handicap accessible bridge and viewing deck on the east side of the park. The viewing deck would benefit handicapped individuals.