The Indiana Park and Recreation Association was able to discuss the Jennings County Parks and Recreation Department with their director Greg Martin. Please read below to discover more about Jennings County Parks and Recreation!
What is your favorite memory at your park agency?
My favorite memory of our department was when we hosted an Outdoor Rock Climbing Competition. After being the main route/problem developer of the area, it was amazing to share the problems with regional climbers. The event featured real rock climbing but also a "Dyno" competition on an artificial wall.
How does your agency contribute to the community?
We manage two small regional parks that also double as community parks. Camping is our regional contribution. Our trails host both the community and our campers. Our shelters and community building are very popular for annual family reunions, birthday parties, weddings, etc.
What special events is your park agency known for?
We partner with the local historical society to host the annual "Sassafras Tea Festival-Civil War Reenactment." We annually host one of the DINO (Do Indiana Off Road) trail run and mountain bike events. "Tame the Terrain" is our largest event. It is a trail-based mud/obstacle race that incorporates many of the natural elements of the Muscatatuck Park. The "Fermentation Celebration" is our annual beer and wine festival.
What do you see for the future of your park agency? What are your goals? We have bids out for a small splash pad that will compliment our new playground. Plans have been approved by the Department of Health to upgrade and re-open the campground at our other facility Eco Lake Park. We partner with the local municipality in providing paved bike trails and we hope to further our trail system and increase our connectivity to many local assets.
Why do you choose to be a member of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association? How long have you been a member?
I have been a member of IPRA since 1998. Being a member of the state and national park organizations is important and the logical first choice for keeping abreast of the multifaceted trends and demands of our industry.
How has your experience with IPRA benefited your park agency? What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your membership?
IPRA has been very beneficial in our Master Planning initiatives. We have used many IPRA and NRPA publications to develop and ultimately communicate models, standards, and goals to or community residents and elected officials. The greenways conferences are very important to me as a trail and exercise advocate.
What would you like our IPRA members to know about your agency?
Managing the historic elements of the Muscatatuck Park has been a great challenge and ultimately a reward. As Indiana's forgotten fourth state park, we have revitalized the facility to a regional asset. We are also one of the only facilities in the state to support outdoor rock climbing. The sport has grown significantly and we are proud to facilitate this truly enjoyable activity.
Want to learn more about the Jennings County Parks and Recreation Department? Click here to visit their website.