It’s been a long time coming, but at last, it’s a reality. Construction on Phase I of W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park in Avon began on June 16. Hendricks County Parks & Recreation (HCP&R) estimates that Phase I construction will be completed by the end of 2020 and that the department will host the park’s grand opening in 2021.
W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park will be located on Gibbs Road in between County Roads 200 South and 350 South in Avon.
Phase I was designed by Civil Engineering Consultants, Inc. in Greencastle and Green 3 Studio in Indianapolis, and it consists of the park entrance, drive, parking areas, and a 5½-acre pond over a total of about 70 acres. John Hall Construction out of Plainfield is installing all of these features.
While construction is being completed, the HCP&R maintenance crew will simultaneously develop trails throughout the property. For the past year, the crew has been culling out dead, invasive, and undesirable trees and undergrowth in about 20 acres of forested land to prepare for construction, leaving the healthy mature native trees on the property for future park guests to enjoy.
Additional Phase I park amenities planned for 2021 include an 18-hole disc golf course, two shelters, picnic areas, a playground, and a fishing pier for the pond, budget permitting.
HCP&R agreed to purchase about 140 acres of land from John and Lydia Gibbs over a 10-year period, and the final payment was made to the Gibbs family in January of 2019.
Ryan Lemley began his employment as superintendent of HCP&R a month later, and the department has been moving at full speed to plan, construct, and develop Phase I of the park ever since. Future phases will address the remaining acreage on the property.
“Our ultimate goal is to expand and provide unique and enjoyable recreational experiences for everyone,” said Lemley. “That goal would not be attainable without the constant support of our patrons, the Hendricks County Commissioners, and the Hendricks County Council. We look forward to seeing you, your family, and your friends at W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park in 2021.”
HCP&R also operates McCloud Nature Park outside of North Salem and the western portion of the Vandalia Trail, which runs from Amo through Coatesville to the Hendricks-Putnam County line. More information about W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park can be found by clicking here.