Open More of Fort Harrison State Park for Public Use and Enjoyment
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Are you aware that currently almost 40% of Fort Harrison State Park is designated as Nature Preserves and either off limits to public use or only allows for very limited public use (excluding the golf course)? The average area of Nature Preserves across the other State Park properties is around 5%. The designation of this much of the park as a Nature Preserve is denying the community of areas where multi use trails can be built for much needed recreation areas and connectivity.
The State of Indiana has established state parks to "preserve a primitive landscape in its natural condition for the public's use and enjoyment." Fort Harrison State Park is the only State Park located in a major metropolitan area, yet much of the park is not available for "public use and enjoyment".
We are asking that Governor Holcomb work with the public/DNR/NRC and thoughtfully bring FHSP inline with the other parks of 5% average nature preserve. This can be done by 1) protecting the current heron rookery while allowing public use of the existing trails which are well away from the rookery 2) Eliminate the "no public allowed" area called the Bluffs of Fall Creek Nature Preserve and create multi use trails while preserving the natural beauty of the area 3) Eliminate the Lawrence Creek Nature Preserve and allow properly build multi use trails to be added for public enjoyment.
We can all work together to allow the public to use most of FHSP while protecting plants and wildlife and the beautiful natural landscape of this state park.
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