County submits park's master plan to state

Apr. 30—ANDERSON — The newly formed Madison County Park Board has submitted a master plan to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for review.

"This was the first really important step for us," Tom Bannon, a Park Board member, said Monday. "It makes funding possible for the county."

He said the next step will depend on the grant funding the county receives for both short and long-term projects.

"At some point we will have several public forums to get input from local residents," Bannon said. "We've not settled on a first project. We've look at a number of possibilities and it will all depend on funding."

He said a county park system has been needed for several years.

County Engineer Jessica Bastin said a goal of the Park Board is to engage new people in the discussion about park projects.

Once the master plan is approved by the Department of Natural Resources, different funding opportunities will become available at both the state and federal level.

Previously Ben Orcutt, president of the County Park Board, said it makes sense to start the county park system by utilizing the White River.

"We should focus on the waterways," he said. "Maybe use Anderson as the center on White River and extend to the east and west. The master plan is designed to create a park plan that is uniquely a Madison County plan with a goal of including all of the county's assets."

A trail plan has been drafted to include all the areas not in a municipal jurisdiction.

A part of the plan will be greenways along waterways in the county to include White River, Fall Creek and Pipe Creek.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.