The Newton County Park Board is hosting a ribbon cutting for the new six miles of interpretive trail at the DNR’s LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area on Saturday, October 15 from 2-4 p.m.
After the ribbon cutting, the park board and DNR staff will lead a fall color hike on the new trail system.
According to information provided, the mission of the Newton County Parks and Recreation Board is to partner with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and other agencies to develop educational and recreational opportunities for the citizens of Newton County and the region.
The park board secured the entire amount for the funding of the 6 interpretive signs from grants secured from the Roy Whistler Foundation and Friends of the Sands, according to a press release. The signs were made by Boezeman Signs in Roselawn.
One of the Newton County Park Board goals is for the park board to assist the large land holding agencies (Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy) to have quality public access for people to hike and enjoy the natural world, with a specific goal of the county have 25 miles of signed hiking trails for people to use.
With the opening of this trail, the county will have just short of 23 miles of hiking trails available to the public for use. All of them with no entrance fee for people who choose to enjoy them.
The breakdown of mileage includes:
Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area -12.6 miles
The Nature Conservancy — 4.1 miles
LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area — 6.1
To date most of the efforts have been directed towards assisting the DNR, while The Nature Conservancy works with the National Park Service to develop a plan for their entire site.
In addition to the Park Board efforts to establish trails for the public to use, a goal of hosting at least one event every month has also been set. The 2022 are:
Ice fishing derby at Willow Slough
Short eared owl observation at Kankakee Sands
Hike the 10 mile loop at Willow Slouogh
Hike the ghost town at Conrad & Woodcock walk
Waterfowl migration observation at LaSalle
More from this section
Spring migration of songbirds at Conrad Nature Preserve
Wildflower walk at Grace Teninga Trail
Bicycle ride at fairground
Dog walk and fair at fairgrounds
Paddle and learn emergent plants on Beaver Lake Ditch
Moth observation at The Nature Conservancy
Bicycle ride around Willow Slough and into Morocco
Bison pasture walk
Fall colors at LaSalle
Day after Thanksgiving hike at Grace Teninga 10 AM to noon
Day before Christmas hike at Grace Teninga 10 AM to noon
The Park Board consists of five people. Two appointed by the County Council, two by the County Commissioner and one by the County Judge.
The current Park Board is Gus Nyberg, Becca Harrington, Jenn Whaley, Josh Holloway and Victoria Patton.
The Park Board is in the process of finalizing a job description and will be hiring a contract position to assist the boards effort to bring fun events to the people of Newton County.