We’re ready for a big party in 2016!
Indiana State Parks traces its history back to 1916. Colonel Richard Lieber, an Indianapolis businessman and German immigrant, recommended that a state park system be created during the state’s centennial as birthday gift to the people of Indiana. Lieber became a national leader in the state parks movement and assisted other states in forming their own systems as well. He was the first Director of the Indiana Department of Conservation, serving for more than a decade.
We’re counting down to our 100th birthday. Indiana’s first state park, McCormick’s Creek, was established in the summer of 1916. Turkey Run State Park followed closely behind. (The story of why Turkey Run wasn’t first is a good one – you’ll be hearing that soon!)These celebrations are an endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.
How To Help Us Celebrate
- Indiana's State Park system was a 100th birthday gift to the citizens of Indiana, and we're participating in Indiana's Bicentennial with several legacy projects.
- WTIU produced Indiana State Parks: Treasures in Your Own Backyard for us in 2009. This DVD is an endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.Get your copy at http://www.innsgifts.com/.
- Each year we celebrate the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps with a veterans reunion. Hear their stories. (Short video | Long video)
- Watch for a series of articles about each of our state parks and reservoirs in Outdoor Indiana beginning in May-June, 2010 and ending in 2016. These booklets can be pulled out and kept as collector’s items. Individual copies of each 8-page booklet will also be available as they are produced. Collect them all! These centennial booklets are an endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.
- We’re looking for great photos of you and your family visiting a state park or reservoir that we can scan and include in the Indiana Memory Project. Contact gmurphy@dnr.IN.gov if you have images you are willing to share!
- During summer 2016, join us for "100 Days for 100 Years" with an activity or feature related to our centennial every day. This will range from property parties and staff homecomings to history blogs to a weekend with entrance prices "rolled back" to the 1916 rate.
- We have released an elementary school centennial curriculum that views Indiana's history through the lens of our Indiana State Parks. It is designed for teachers and students, but will have information and activities for everyone.
- We are working in partnership with Ball State University to create history tour apps for many of our state parks. These are available through BSU. The history tour aps are an endorsed Bicentennial Legacy Project.
- We are designing unique centennial shelters in partnership with students from Rose-Hulman and Gonzaga universities, and are seeking funding to build these legacy structures for your use at several of our state parks and lakes.
- CCC Worker Statues commemorating the work of the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps have been erected at Versailles and Ouabache state parks, and plans are underway for adding statues at Pokagon and McCormick's Creek.
CCC veterans with CCC Worker statue at Ouabache State Park.
- Sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in serving as a business or corporate sponsor of our Centennial Celebration, contact us for details at gmurphy@dnr.IN.gov.
- Make a donation to support the Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs Centennial Celebration. Visit the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation and write SPR100 in the memorial/honor line.
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