2016-07-05 / Front Page

Centennial Celebration Helps State Park Raise Money For Fire Tower

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


Visitors to the campground inside McCormick’s Creek Park were greeted Thursday afternoon by the smiling face of Bonnie Warthen. (Staff Photo) Visitors to the campground inside McCormick’s Creek Park were greeted Thursday afternoon by the smiling face of Bonnie Warthen. (Staff Photo) Indiana’s first state park commemorated its 100th birthday with a series of events held June 24-26, but the year-long celebration of McCormick’s Creek State Park (MCSP) is far from complete.

“We had a great turnout throughout the weekend for our Centennial Celebration. We had a nice crowd for our Ice Cream Social on Friday night and throughout the day Saturday. I think everyone really enjoyed themselves,” MCSP Property Manager Dwight Brooks said. “The March to the Park was a wonderful hike from Cooper Commons down River Road and we appreciate everyone who helped organize the event, from Sheriff (Sam) Hobbs to the Owen County Commissioners, Spencer Town Council, my staff, the Friends of McCormick’s Creek, and our centennial committee.”


MCSP seasonal worker Rusty Terrell was busy Thursday afternoon on a Dixie Chopper, mowing in various areas of the park. (Staff Photo) MCSP seasonal worker Rusty Terrell was busy Thursday afternoon on a Dixie Chopper, mowing in various areas of the park. (Staff Photo) The MCSP Centennial Committee included Brooks, assistant property manager Lynda Ellington, Canyon Inn Manager Randy Rhine, Interpretive Naturalist Sam Arthur, Vicki and Cem Basman, Owen County Tourism Director Marilyn Jackson, Don Jackson, Rob Babbs, county historian Tony Neff, Barbara Filtri, Al Tinsley, and Will Schaust.

The cooperative Indiana State Parks Centennial and Indiana Bicentennial project to restore the park’s historic fire tower has now reached a quarter of its fund-raising goal. Fund-raising during the Centennial Celebration generated $220 in direct donations, $130 through a silent auction, and $540 from March to the Park registrations to increase the current total to $21,328 of the anticipated $85,000 cost to restore the tower.


MCSP seasonal worker Sheryl Fougerousse’s professional painting talents are being tapped for various repainting tasks this summer. (Staff Photo) MCSP seasonal worker Sheryl Fougerousse’s professional painting talents are being tapped for various repainting tasks this summer. (Staff Photo) Brooks explained that MCSP and Turkey Run, Indiana’s second state park, will be the recipients of new large bicentennial shelter houses, complete with fire pit and other amenities. The new shelter house for MCSP will be constructed, likely in August and September, on the current site of the Echo Canyon shelter. He said a formal dedication of the shelter house would be made during the final aspect of the park’s Centennial Celebration on December 16.

A variety of Centennial Celebration related activities are on the calendar, with the next slated for this coming Saturday, July 2 when songwriter Jack Shannon will perform original songs and cover songs. Shannon will also conduct a song writing workshop for up to 10 participants following the concert at the Nature Center Amphitheater.

On Saturday, July 16 the park’s Summer Concert Series will feature Tom Roznowski’s presentation on Indiana history and nature through songs and stories.

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