Improvements made at state parks this year

Guests may notice a variety of improvements that enhance campgrounds, restrooms, trails, and other facilities in the Indiana State Parks system of 24 state parks and eight reservoir properties as we move into the traditional summer recreation season.

Skilled park staff completed many of the improvements. Partners and volunteers helped with many projects. And non-profit “friends” groups contributed thousands of dollars and hours.

Collectively, Indiana State Park properties manage more than 2,000 buildings, 700 miles of trails, 636 hotel/lodge rooms, 17 marinas, 75 launching ramps, 17 swimming pools, 15 beaches, 7,701 campsites, more than 200 shelters, 160 or so playgrounds and 150 cabins.

“Creative and dedicated employees stretch the dollars that you pay when you enter the gate, rent a campsite, launch a boat or attend a special workshop or program,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director of Indiana State Parks. Examples of system-wide improvements include:

• New, efficient LED lighting in various buildings, from offices to comfort stations.

• Various small campground improvements in different locations, ranging from leveling and adding gravel to sites to new fixtures, sinks and dividers in comfort stations, and upgrades from 30- to 50-amp service.

• Invasive plant removal, prescribed fire and habitat improvements totaling several thousand acres.

• Fish habitat improvements at several reservoirs.

Examples of site-specific improvements include:

• New road pavement projects at Harmonie State Park and Hardy Lake.

• Complete renovation of 20 rustic cabins at Turkey Run State Park and of the rentable officers homes at Fort Harrison State Park.

• New vault toilets in select locations at Monroe Lake and at O’Bannon Woods and Whitewater Memorial state parks.

• Work on trails, including new stairs, bridges and observation platforms at Clifty Falls State Park, trail structure repairs at Hardy Lake, and trail maintenance in several other locations.

• New or renovated courtesy docks at Brookville Lake, Cecil M. Harden Lake, and Spring Mill Lake at Spring Mill State Park.

• New trees planted in several locations to offset the loss of ash trees to emerald ash borer at Mounds and Lincoln state parks, and to restore open oak woodland habitats at Indiana Dunes and Prophetstown state parks.

A complete list of park improvements, including park-specific improvements, is at StateParks.IN.gov/9447.htm.

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