The saying, “Plan your work, and work your plan” describes the outdoor recreation-related planning and work happening in Putnam County. Nearly 400 wooded acres along the south shore of Glenn Flint Lake will become Putnam County’s newest attraction once a plan, launched this week and scheduled to be completed by year-end, outlines a vision for it as a recreation area.
The Little Walnut Creek Conservancy District, responsible for constructing the lake and providing flood control and prevention efforts for the surrounding townships since 1967, had a plan in the early 1970s for a recreation area, with campgrounds, beaches, hiking trails, and playgrounds. Fifty years later, thanks to partnerships and the priority given to this project by another plan – the county’s five-year outdoor recreation master plan – the effort is likely to work.
During the public-input phase that created the county’s outdoor recreation master plan, Russell and Clinton township residents actively promoted a desire to include park development at Glenn Flint Lake as a goal. The Putnam County Parks Board has been working that plan since it was approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in 2022.
Development of the Glenn Flint Lake recreational area is one of more than 40 goals of the county’s five-year outdoor recreation master plan, which outlines each on annual timelines. Fifteen months in, the Parks Board is on schedule, or ahead of schedule, on all goals which were created by residents countywide over a two-month series of public-input sessions in 2021.
With the county’s plan in place, the first step to a Glenn Flint Lake outdoor recreation area is a plan specifically for the 400 wooded acres. Leveraging a growing number of partnerships, a portion of the nearly $50,000 Glenn Flint plan is being underwritten by the Putnam County Community Foundation in the form of a Rapid Response Grant. Additional investments come from the Conservancy District, Putnam County Commissioners/Council, Putnam Parks & Pathways, Friends of the Park of Putnam County, and the Putnam County Visitors Bureau.
Using the 1970s Glenn Flint Lake park plan as a base for today’s effort is Zec Eight Insights and V3 Companies, an Indianapolis-based pairing selected by the Conservancy District board to create a new vision for what the area can offer.
During an initial July 25 site visit, the Conservancy District board toured the property and brainstormed ideas with representatives from Zec Eight and V3 (Pictured Above). “The (Little Walnut Creek Conservancy District) board is thrilled to be partnering with so many local organizations interested in supporting development in this area,” Kathy Deer, administrative and financial secretary for the Little Walnut Creek Conservancy District, said, “A camping area is something we have had in the back of our minds since the first plan was created, and it’s exciting to be starting the process, dreaming bigger and getting to work.”
A number of recent infrastructure and general improvement projects have been completed around the lake, including upgrades to the public fishing and camping access point. This new project, however, will consist of millions of dollars of investment and construction over the next decade, leveraging the unique land assets around Glenn Flint Lake, enhancing tourism and expanding the wealth of outdoor recreation activities offered in Putnam County.
The plan will be comprehensive and include ways to provide this rural corner of Putnam County with economic development opportunities through the project.
The county’s five-year outdoor recreation master plan includes goals for beginning development of a trail along the northern border of the county, connecting with trail systems in Hendricks and Parke counties, as well as a boardwalk trail along Little Walnut Creek.
“The Putnam County Community Foundation is proud to support this project. We recognize the importance of space for recreation to enhance the quality of life for residents of Putnam County,” said Neysa Meyer, executive director of the Putnam County Community Foundation. “This park project, and the connectivity of the trails around it, will create numerous opportunities for entrepreneurially-minded residents in Roachdale, Russellville and other communities in the northern part of the county,” she said.
This is not the first investment in outdoor recreation made by the Community Foundation. Last year, it contributed $25,000 in matching funds to the county parks foundation, Friends of the Park of Putnam County, to help it build an endowment that will perpetually fund the accomplishment of this and future outdoor recreation master plan goals.
Earlier this year, the Community Foundation’s $50,000 grant to the Central Indiana Land Trust was matched dollar-for-dollar and helped conclude the Trust’s half-million-dollar campaign to finalize the purchase of what is now Fern Station Nature Preserve, Putnam County’s fifth nature preserve and one further securing the county’s place as having more land in protected nature preserves than any Indiana county.
Once the Glenn Flint Lake park plan is complete, work will begin on securing DNR and other funding to implement it. The goal is to offer unique outdoor recreation experiences not found elsewhere in Putnam County or West Central Indiana, ones that will enhance local quality of life for residents and encourage visitation.
ADDRESS: 4530 WEST COUNTY ROAD 450 NORTH, GREENCASTLE, IN, 46135
BOATING & KAYAKING
FISHING PIER & TOURNAMENTS