On April 11, about 50 people saw and heard the plans for the Hopkins Family Park presented by students from Purdue University and the University of Evansville.
I estimated that the efforts of those students would have cost $100,000 if they were submitted by a professional engineering firm and they were very well prepared.
For the Hopkins family to generously donate 200 acres of valuable farmland that has been in the family for over 150 years for the enjoyment of Gibson County residents as well as those that might be interested in enjoying a relaxing and educational day in a potentially beautiful natural setting says so much about their values and what really matters in life.
In addition to the typical features found in most parklike settings, I proposed that consideration might be given to incorporating artworks, especially sculptures, as are found in sculpture gardens throughout the world. I know of many sculptors within 100 miles that would be honored to show their work in an outdoor setting like this.
This addition would make it a unique destination location for visitors to Gibson County who might also include in their days tour Lyles Station, the Patoka Wildlife Refuge, the natural habitat near the Duke power plant and the beautiful Azalea Path near Hazleton, as well as all the creative barn quilts scattered throughout the county.
My hopes are that many others, especially those blessed with abundant resources, catch this vision and contribute liberally to this new park. One of the many ways these plans could move forward quickly would be for some type of membership program such as Audubon Park, Angel Mounds and Wesselman’s Woods has.
As a user of these and other resources, I feel it is not only my obligation but also a privilege to contribute to their support so they can continue to provide the beauty and educational opportunities they so abundantly provide to their visitors.
Support the county commissioners and councilmen as they grapple with the many challenges that lie ahead in finding the funding and other resources needed to make this dream of the Hopkins family come true.