Over 100 volunteers will fill Porter County Park’s Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Friday August 21st for Day of Caring presented by the United Way of Porter County. They will be working on a multitude of projects throughout the park. The primary focus will be on the pond and prairie restoration, which has been an effort to remove invasive species from the Sunset Hill prairie and pond and replace them with native plantings. Volunteers will also be working on the first steps of building the natural playground, a first of its kind for Porter County. This project will involve a variety of play areas created from natural materials to generate child led, creative play. Restoration to park trails and other areas of the park will be incorporated as well.
According to Mackenna Schon, Director of Volunteer Engagement for the United Way of Porter County “United Way Day of Caring is the largest celebration of volunteerism in Northwest Indiana, uniting local businesses, places of worship, and civic groups to make an impact in the non-profit community”.
In addition to many individual volunteers, several local groups will be joining Porter County Parks as volunteers for the day including Centier Bank, Valparaiso University Law School, the Porter County Sherriff’s Department, Golden Tech IT Services, and many, many more. Jeff Biggs of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department stated, “The Sheriff's Department recognizes how much United Way helps the people of Porter County. We are excited to join the efforts of so many on the Day of Caring. We chose Sunset Hill Park because our parks offer so much to us and we want to help keep them a great place for everyone to enjoy”.
The Porter County Parks Foundation has also been a huge supporter of the Department’s participation in Day of Caring. Dave Nevill, President of the Foundation said, “The foundation of the Sunset Hill Farm County Park project is rooted in one (Colonel Murray) belief in freedom. This project represents our freedom to protect and preserve land for the empowerment of all. The empowerment opportunity is realized through a park system that's 1st priority is how it gives back to the community through educational opportunity's for all.”
Chuck Roth of Chesterton Feed and Garden presented a gift certificate to Porter County Parks Superintendent, Walter Lenckos, and Porter County Parks Foundation President, Dave Nevill, to help complete the natural playground portion of the project. Chesterton Feed and Garden is among one of many local businesses who have supported the project.