County parks prepares for big grant, seeks public input

The public is invited to the Baldwin One Room Schoolhouse at Bonneyville Mill Park on May 29 to give input on a grant proposal that could secure funds for parking and trails at Corson Riverwoods County Park.Truth file photo 

BRISTOL — The Elkhart County Parks wants public input for a federal grant application that could fund a parking lot, walking trail and woodland boardwalk at the Corson Riverwoods County Park.

The parks department will host a public input meeting on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 5 p.m. to discuss the application to the Land & Water Conservation Fund via the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The public input meeting will be held at the One Room School House at Bonneyville Mill County Park at 53373 C.R. 131.

The Elkhart County Parks and Recreation Department recently completed its 2019-2023 Five Year Master Plan, giving the park board elligibility to apply for up to $250,000 in grant funds.

Corson Riverwoods County Park is located north of Middlebury. The 75 acre parcel was donated by Tom Corson in 2018, and the land donation will match the funds of this possible grant.

Although a portion of the property is in the floodplain, the park will protect a riparian habitat along the Little Elkhart River and a majority of the future development will take place on high ground while agricultural field will be converted to native tall grass prairie.

Chuck Lehman, president of landscaping architect firm Lehman & Lehman, Inc., will assist with gathering input from the public meeting and share the future site plans.

“We will be excited and honored if we receive a grant for this first phase, but we know the competition will be tough,” said Ronda DeCaire, director of Elkhart County Parks.

The department last requested a LWCF grant in 2005 for the development of Cobus Creek County Park, of which $200,000 was received for the creation of those public facilities.

For more information contact the Elkhart County Parks administration office at 574-535-6458.

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