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Putnam Paths & Parkways


Contribute.  Pick up an oar and row with us.  Everyone has a skill this outdoor recreation effort would benefit from.  Some can only give a little time, and our programs, events and venue maintenance need volunteers (like crazy).  Others can teach; those with a weed-eater can trim; older folks can enjoy the venues and report problems that make the outdoor recreation experience better for everyone; some with busy lives can only contribute financially.  Each of us has unique talents to contribute.  We are a fun, welcoming bunch, and we welcome those talents and you.  

We promote awareness of healthy living initiatives, sponsor and support 5K races and scores of educational events, and host programs for every age.  See below for a list of recent activities that you can join and help to give back. 

To contribute financially, bless you.  Visit the links immediately below to give online or become a Friends of the Park of Putnam County member. You can learn about how our organizations work together and what each does by visiting the Friends Page.

Hall Woods Nature Preserve
DePauw Nature Park
Jaycee Park

Working with a countywide group that includes the Greencastle Civic League and Putnam Parks & Pathways’ Arts Committee, help install (in November) and de-install (in January, 2024) the Winter Wonderland Lights Festival in Robe-Ann Park! Growing into its fourth year, the event needs more volunteers than ever. Please follow the link to view details, and sign-up.


The Arts Committee, led by local photographer Brittney Way, works to accomplish the arts- and culture-related goals of the county’s five-year outdoor recreation master plan, strategizing ways to infuse public art into outdoor recreation venues as a way to increase local quality of life. In cooperation with the Events Committee, it creates arts/culture-related events/programming that encourages active use of outdoor recreation venues. Examples include the Putnam County Mural Project’s work of making murals a prominent county feature, the Winter Wonderland Lights Festival in Greencastle’s Robe-Ann Park and the Fairy Trail, with gnome-sized houses/communities dotting a section of the Putnam Nature Trail.


A former schoolteacher and current Monthly Nature Hike series leader, John Garner leads this effort, supported by the Big Walnut Bird Club as a subcommittee. This group implements all nature-related educational programming, creating a diverse 12-month calendar that grows into recurring opportunities offered on a regular weekly and monthly schedule – bird-watching, nature hikes, star-gazing, bike rides, and more. It serves as a conduit to nature-related groups/clubs in Putnam County, providing two-way access to their programming and to Putnam Parks & Pathways’ promotion and funding programs.


Putnam Parks & Pathways sponsors and promotes existing events around the county through this committee chaired by local physical therapist, runner, hiker, biker, and disc-golfer Matthew Owens, and it also creates its own. The group creates a 12-month calendar with at least one on-trail event each month. Perhaps the largest committee, it has three subcommittees, each with a leader: 1.) Biking, 2.) Walking/Hiking and 3.) programs…everything that isn’t biking or walking/hiking


Good with a chainsaw or rake? Want to get your hands dirty with some hard and fun volunteer hours? Just feel like walking the trail and picking up debris? The Maintenance/Expansion Committee is for you! Co-Chaired by two go-getters who organize regular trail-work days, Allison Leer and Jim Woody, this group is the “boots on the ground” team, responsible for expanding People Pathways throughout the county, caring for the existing trail, communicating with land-owners in expansion areas, acquiring needed property and working with Friends of the Park on fundraising to accomplish goals.


Can’t decide what best suits you? There’s a group for that, too! The Volunteer Committee is currently in search of a chairperson to lead volunteers in helping all committees in all capacities. In addition, this group will be a source for other non-profits, outdoor-related or not, to improve the county’s quality of life. This effort gathers like-minded people who simply want this community to grow and prosper. It identifies volunteer needs and focuses on meeting them, coordinates volunteer recruitment and training, and enhances outdoor recreation areas through unique plantings/programs to increase educational, recreational and tourism potential.