The City of Charlestown received a sizable land donation for park use, adding 70 acres in the southern portion of the city.
A donation agreement with Sharon Kleinert was completed in October, for the future Shadow Lake Park. The 70 acres of land is currently an oasis of fields and trees.
“Living the ‘farm life’ for the past 30-plus years, has made the intrinsic beauty and value of land so evident and apparent,” said Kleinert. “Watching our Southern Indiana communities grow and ‘fill the land’, it is vital to provide green open space where residents may appreciate the beauty of nature and relish time spent outdoors. I am happy to provide this acreage to the city of Charlestown to create a park for its residents to enjoy.”
Future plans for the park land will leave the mature trees untouched for visitors to enjoy.
“This generous donation by Ms. Kleinert is a welcome addition to the city’s network of parks,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “We’re committed to practicing sustainable development in the City of Charlestown and having Shadow Lake Park remain an oasis for residents and visitors allows the City to show our commitment to being good environmental stewards of the natural beauty our community offers.”
Before the donation, Charlestown had only 46 acres of developed parks, which was well below national standards. The target acreage is 63.3 to 136.2 acres for a city the size of Charlestown. Potential park development also includes 106 acres at River Ridge, which was donated by the River Ridge Development Authority in 2019.
The Charlestown Parks master plan, released in the Spring of 2021, identified the Bethany Road, High Jackson Road, and HWY 62 area as a lack of service in regard to park availability. This donation meets that need in a big way as Shadow Lake Park will be located off High Jackson Road.
The next step for the city is entering a scoping period for best use of the land, which includes adding trail mileage for the city. Goals include connecting Shadow Lake Park to the developments within Shadow Lake, schools, new/existing neighborhoods.
An additional land donation is anticipated to close in the coming weeks with Rick Wheeler. Property of 7.8 acres will be donated behind Clark “Doc” Werner Dog Park, located near Spring Street. Much of the property is filled with trees. The added acreage allows the city to expand the walking path toward the tree canopy and potentially add a disc golf course.
“It’s particularly rewarding to have these gifts that respond directly to needs identified in our Parks Master Plan,” said Hodges. “I always appreciate when our community members eagerly participate in our planning processes and these two gifts of land meet needs identified by our residents during our Parks review in 2020. I’m excited to hear more ideas from residents as we cultivate these recreational spaces.”