France Park expands by over 100 acres

A big park in western Cass County just got bigger.

Cass County officials closed on 104 acres of donated land just southwest of France Park on Friday, Jan. 11. The land is west of 600 West near South River Road south of the Wabash River.

Jim Sailors, president of the Cass County Commissioners, said the Justice family that formerly owned the land turned it into a conservation area that Lafayette-based Northern Indiana Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive Land Trust has been managing.

Sailors said Cass County government got involved through NICHES Land Trust’s desire to turn the land over to a nonprofit or government entity for public use.

The county’s desire is for the land to expand nearby France Park, Sailors said. There are no plans to develop on it, he continued, adding there’s little opportunity to do so anyhow with it being a conservation area.

Visitors can hike through the land’s woods and fish along the parts that abut the Wabash River, Sailors said. He added there won’t be any fee to access the land.

Sailors said he appreciated the opportunity to work with NICHES Land Trust and the Justice family to provide the land for people’s enjoyment.

France Park has been off U.S. 24 near West 50 South since 1967. The 550-acre facility offers swimming, camping, trails, disc golf and other outdoor activities.

Reach Mitchell Kirk at mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5130.

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