Porter County Bison-tennial Herd Doubles in Size; United Way of Porter County Bison to be Unveiled May 28

By: United Way of Porter County Last Updated: May 19, 2016

The Indiana Association of United Ways’ Bison-tennial Public Art initiative to commemorate Indiana’s 200th birthday year has grown in Porter County to eight life-size bison projects this month.

Each of the eight bison, will be painted or adorn in different ways, and will be available for viewing later this year. The four new blank canvases were delivered to the following community partners: Valparaiso Community Schools, Pines Village Retirement Communities, Broken Wagon Bison Farm and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. They join Prompt Ambulance, Portage Township Schools, Indiana Dunes Tourism and Task Force Tips in hosting a bison. The Porter County herd is now tied with Noble County for largest herd in the state.

“It’s been really great to see the community come together around this project,” said Kim Olesker, president & CEO of United Way of Porter County. “The project has connected history, art and community to provide an amazing display in Porter County.”

The Porter County traveling bison, one of the original bison, will be unveiled on Saturday, May 28 at 1 p.m. at the Where Did Van Gogh? event at the Urschel Pavilion in downtown Valparaiso. This free scavenger hunt event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is part of Valparaiso Community Schools’ Spring into Arts Festival month-log celebration.

The bison, decorated by Opportunity Enterprises’ Amazing Artists team, will then travel throughout the county making appearances at events such as Hebron 4th of July celebration, Valparaiso Half Marathon and Indiana Bicentennial Torch parade in Portage.

United Way of Porter County is holding a naming contest for the traveling bison. The winner will have the opportunity to ride with the bison in the 2016 Valparaiso Popcorn Festival parade on the United Way of Porter County and Prompt Ambulance float.

Festival and event organizers interested in hosting a bison can submit a request via the program website listed above. For a complete list of community event sightings, to submit a bison name or to register an event, visit PorterBison.com. Details about viewing many of the bison will be announced later on this website.

For more information about the Bison-tennial Public Art Project statewide, visit IndianaBisonArt.org or follow #IndianaBisonArt on Twitter and Facebook.

United Way of Porter County mission is to lead community collaboration, unite residents and inspire action to improve lives in Porter County. In 2015, United Way of Porter County provided more than $2.2 million in community support to better the lives of area residents. They also provide volunteer opportunities through community programs such as the United Way Day of Caring, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, AmeriCorps service program, RSVP volunteer program, United Way Reading Buddies program and the Northwest Indiana Regional Volunteer Center. To learn more, visit UnitedWayPC.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Indiana Association of United Ways represents 60 United Ways throughout Indiana. Together, Indiana’s United Ways raise and invest approximately $100 million each year in local communities. For more information, visit IAUW.org.