Muncie Parks & Recreation

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Last night the citizens got a real treat when Mr. Doug Zook, Superintendent of Muncie Parks, took the microphone.  Until last week I only knew him by name.  After he presented the budget to city council, I was impressed.  You can read all about Prairie Creek in a past entryon this blog, if you like.

Thursday evening was full of details about what is going on in our parks and  future plans.  First, let me say PCR is $30,000.00 in the black.  Yahoo!

To receive any federal funds for park, the city must have a 5 year plan in place.  The last one was in was 1998 and revisited again in 2003.    Mr. Zook was tasked to get the parks up to speed. 

McCullough Park:  A beautiful area of over 100 acres and only 5 parking spaces, unless you counted the grassy areas.  Additional parking has been added. 

Heekin Park: 20 years without any updates.  Now it is sporting 18 parking spaces by the lodge and a nicely paved road.  Will have a “Walk of Fame” honoring those who have a historical significance to Muncie.

Westside Park: In conjunction with the Cardinal Greenway will receive 48 new parking places and a trail head. Almost forgot, the park will be closed for almost the whole month of September for renovations. (Thanks for the reminder, Todd.)

PCR:There is an erosion problem by the docks and the area needs to be rejuvinated and returned to its original state. As we all know there is a geese problem. They flock to this area because it is a safe haven with no natural preditors to make them uncomfortable. Once the area is no longer secure, they will move on.

Of course, many of you read about the downtown park which will be a perfect get away for those who live, work and attend classes at IVY Tech.  “Downtown park in Muncie back on track

New plaground equipment will be installed at Thomas, Heekin and McCullough Parks. Disc golf is available. I have no idea what disc golf is, it sounds popular. Anyway, the game is available along with hoops. Now, we are talking! B-ball!

Some ideas shared about the recreation aspects of our parks.  For example, this past summer at PCR 43 kids attended Camp Prairie Creek, where they learned to fish and received an introduction to the world of natural resources.  This day camp was funded by grants from MSD.  Mr. Zook would like this  program expanded for next year.  His goal would be to have recreation available all year long.

Internships for recreation have been explored. I.U. and, I believe, Purdue both have  programs and if we can make it attractive to the students perhaps we can snap up  a couple of interns! I agree with Mr. Zook, it is wonderful and exciting to see the world through young and fresh eyes and I would think their contributions would be of great value.

He would like to get all the organizations together and come up with a cohesive recreation plan we all can be proud of and enjoy.  It would be wonderful for our community and our children.  We spent so much time at our city parks when I was growing up.  With ice skating, arts & crafts, softball and meeting with friends, many wonderful memories were made.  I would so much like our children and adults to experience the same things.

An engineering report came out on Tuhey Pool and it has more problems than initially thought.

Mr. Zook gave credit for the success of the parks to his employees and the park board. I see great things happening and Muncie is very fortunate to have such a qualified superintendant to manage our parks.  Kudo to all those involved.

Hope all the information is accurate and you have come away with a greater understanding of what is happening in this area of our community.


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