ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — On Wednesday, the Allen County Parks Board got an update on where things stand with Fox Island County Park.
The park has been closed since a June 2021 derecho slammed the park and knocked down thousands of trees.
Fox Island’s Park and Education Manager Natalie Haley told WANE 15 before the meeting that they’re rounding the corner, and the hope is to be open by next spring.
She said there’s still one project essential to opening, which includes loggers coming and cleaning out trees and invasive plants on the south side of the lake at the park.
There’s more work to be done after that, but Haley said they’d be able to open and block off some areas.
Other areas of concern include the trails around the nature preserve where seeding needs to take place. Haley added they’re cautious about blocking trails because they’ve had trouble with people going around in the past. They can’t risk anyone damaging the seed being laid.
That being said, she has presented ideas and options to the superintendent and park board. Those entities will have the final say on when the park will reopen.
Haley hopes a reopen date can be decided on by as early as the board’s January meeting.
She’s looking forward to the day where people can come back to the park and enjoy the lake and all the forest around it has to offer.
“It’s a long process.” she said. “Let’s see kids down at the lake and people enjoying Fox Island again.”
The park hasn’t had any revenue in a year and a half. Haley said some of the remaining projects will be costly, especially to get the equipment needed.
The best way to get that going will be to reopen the park and raise funds in other ways.
One big change coming to Fox Island: just past the main entrance sits an open area once filled with trees. Once funds are available to build there, a rental facility will be built to help bring extra revenue to Fox Island, Haley said.