Breaking News

Local News

October 15, 2012

France Park begins improvements

Park staff are making changes to draw larger crowds for the park’s 2013 spring season

Kevin and Connie McCarthy spent Thursday afternoon taking their two grandchildren, Kilynn and Brayden Tabler, around France Park.

Although Connie has been coming to France Park for more than 40 years, she has been coming to the area with Kevin for the past eight years. In those years, both of them said they have seen the park through some rough patches.

“I’m really excited about the changes being made to the park,” Connie said. “We love it here.” Kevin said he enjoys that there is so much to do.

“We usually just visit for the day, but we’re thinking about overnight camping before the end of the season,” Kevin said. “Our grandkids can swim in the quarry, fish in the pond, play on the playground equipment, take a hike on some trails and then by the end it’s nap time for them.”

France Park Superintendent Lucas Beach and other staff members are making some major changes within the park so that visitors, like the McCarthys, can enjoy the area. The putt-putt course has been ripped up and is getting a three-color scheme and concrete to make it more presentable, Beach said. For the first time in the park, a trail has been widened so that vehicles can drive along it. At the top of the cliffs above the beach, staff and volunteers are clearing brush to create an upper-beach area where people can lay out in the summer months. Also, two miles of new single-track mountain bike trails have been added.

Although the trails have always been marked, Beach said they will be putting metal signs along the trails so that they are harder to tear down.

“Everything we are doing within the park is a permanent improvement,” Beach said. “We want to be able to showcase aspects of the park that are under-utilized.”

Beach said that he is trying to make the water a focal point. By clearing out trees to create the upper-beach area, and by adding volleyball courts, he thinks that will happen. In the spring, Beach plans to showcase new events, and some surprises, that should increase the crowd. In summer and spring months, he plans to host bluegrass, blues and country bands at the park and he also plans to host a county-wide garage sale, where people can come buy sites and have several garage sales in the area at once.

“There will be some sweet surprises coming in the spring,” he said. “We want people in the community to support France Park, have fun and be proud of the area.”

Beach has been superintendent of the park for three months and he said it’s been busy.

Beach, a 2005 graduate of Pioneer Junior-Senior High School, took over the job in July after county officials eliminated the park’s board and fired Sandy Heckard, who had been the superintendent for eight years.

Kevin Parmeter, security officer, has been working at the park for 10 years. Parmeter, who has worked with four different superintendents, said that a lot of good changes are being made and he thinks they will help the park.

“It’s been a trying season,” Parmeter said. “Lucas started some new ideas and I’m excited about next year.”

Parmeter said morale has been raised because campers can volunteer and receive discounted prices from camping, which is something implemented recently.According to Parmeter, people camp year-round to camp at the 250 sites, even when the water gets shut off November 1.

Monthly camping for Cass County residents is $240 and non-county residents pay $275 for a stay of 30 consecutive days. Beach said that the staff members collaborated and talked about what could be changed. He said he also went around within the public to see what the community wanted to see.

“The park has had negative connotations with it and we’re working to fix that,” Beach said. “These changes are really pertinent for the park’s survival, especially these days.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police blotter: April 25, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results