Thirteen Major Projects Add Fun and Great Experiences in Putnam County
Founded in 1995, Friends of the Park (FOTP) is committed to recreation, parks and trails for all Putnam County residents. It has remained a major funding source for People Pathways, also founded in 1995, with a mission to enhance the county’s quality of life by developing multi-use trails as a way to promote community connections, interaction, good health, safety, and non-motorized transportation.
In 2021, FOTP joined a partnership with Putnam Parks & Pathways and the Putnam County Visitors Center to establish the Putnam County Parks Board and collaborate on the creation of a county five-year master plan for outdoor recreation. To help fund the goals of the plan, the Convention & Visitors Bureau board offered a grant to match every 2022 contribution up to a total of $50,000.
As of October 1, more than $36,000 has been contributed toward the match, which is $72,000 when matched. To make a contribution, and have your gift doubled this year, click here, and in the “My Donation is for” menu, select “Endowment.” Thank you!
To illustrate what your gift helps accomplish, here is a timeline of major projects FOTP has supported. After building the board and developing operations in 1995, FOTP’s first project was “The Castle” playground in Robe-Ann Park.
In 2000, with the Greencastle Civic League, it initiated and completed the “Emerald Palace” in Robe-Ann Park, encouraging children to explore and test the limits of their strength and imagination in a multi-level paradise.
In 2003, FOTP supported a group of parents and youth to create the Greencastle Skatepark, one of the best concrete skateparks in the Midwest.
FOTP launched an endowment in the Putnam County Community Foundation in 2006 to financially support county outdoor recreation efforts in perpetuity.
In 2007, it worked with the City of Greencastle to create Mary Rogers Field Park, an open space park next to City Hall, with specially selected plantings to attract birds and butterflies.
In 2009 and 2010, FOTP supported the restoration of Robe-Ann Park, with two shelters, handicap-accessible picnic tables, new lifejackets for the “ learn to swim” program, and a new Aquatics Center audio system.
In 2011, it committed to the community’s Independence Day “Celebrate 4” event, and has overseen fundraising ever since. It also collaborated with Area 30 Career Center, the Community Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation on landscaping the 80-acre Big Walnut Sports Park.
In 2013, a grassroots group founded the Jaycee Park Multi-Use Trail Project, and FOTP helped fund the 1.5-mile pathway inside the 22-acre park.
In 2014, FOTP helped finance the Bob York Splash Park in Robe-Ann Park and worked with People Pathways on an Envision 2016 grant that successfully added $84,000 to complete Phase One of the Putnam Nature Trail.
FOTP was the recipient of more than $70,000 in grants in 2018, funding that contributed to the replacement of the Robe-Ann Park Bandshell.
Dozens of outdoor recreation-related projects, groups and events have received financial support. From life jackets at the Aquatic Center, to sponsorship of the Putnam Pickleball Players, the creation of trailheads, and the design of maps and brochures, Friends of the Park has invested 100 percent of the community’s support into quality-of-life initiatives that make Putnam County a better place to live and visit.