ROANOKE, Ind. (WANE) — After more than a year of planning and work a new nature park has opened in Roanoke.

John Brooks and his children founded the park in honor of his late wife Carol Brooks.
The 200-acre landscape has hike trails running through Indiana ecosystems like grassland, woodland, wetlands, and sand dunes. Along with a wide array of flowers and plants, it’s also home to herds of elk and bison.

For their grand opening, they had guided hikes, touch tables, and a chance to see how your skills match up against different animals for the Animal Olympics. The hope is that the park will help people understand and appreciate nature.

“Any day we hope they learn more about Indiana’s nature and the beauty of Indiana,” said Brooks. “Many people don’t have the chance to get out and see what real Indiana looks like and if we can reestablish pre-settlement Indiana here I think people become much more aware of nature and learn about how beautiful our state is.”

To help with that, the park has restored a barn more than 100 years old to act as the Mill’s Education Center. The barn came with property bought for the park. It was originally owned by the Mills family, who sold the 12 acres of land the barn sits on.

Brooks said when planning the park, they were inspired by Carol’s passions: having fun, learning about nature and science, and bringing joy to kids.

They also plan on holding a day camp this coming summer where children can learn about the natural environment.

You can see the park by appointment only for $5. You can schedule your tour by contacting the park via email at or calling 260-999-3153.