The Great Outdoors


Improved Outdoor Recreation Forms Available
Anyone whose job involves parks or recreation and has had to fill out complicated state government forms should rejoice. The form necessary to complete in order to have information included in the SCORP (Strategic Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan) has been simplified. The form’s length has been reduced from nine pages to two, and most questions can be answered by checking a box.

The information gathered helps the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation tally the supply of recreation facilities in the state. This total helps determine future funding. “The new forms should make it much easier for local parks and recreation professionals, park board members, nonprofits, governmental entities and concerned citizens to share their park’s information with DNR,” said Greg Beilfuss, an outdoor recreation planner with the DNR. The forms are available for completion at:

Fireworks, family fun at Raccoon SRA, July 2
Raccoon State Recreation Area will hold its annual Beach Bash and fireworks display Saturday, July 2 2011. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a sand-sculpture contest for all ages. Games, including tug-of-war and a water-balloon toss, begin at 1 p.m.

Visitors can cap off the day with an evening of fireworks, beginning at dusk. The fireworks are co-sponsored by Raccoon SRA, Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department and the Raccoon Lake/Union Township Property Owners Association. In the event of rain, the fireworks will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 3.
The 15th and Hulman band will perform on Sunday, July 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the beach. The cost of the fireworks is supported solely by donations from the community and park visitors. Anyone interested in helping defray the cost should contact Mike Clingerman, Raccoon SRA property manager, or Randy Gordon, interpretive naturalist, both at (765) 344-1412.
Raccoon SRA is on U.S. Hwy. 36 in Parke County, west central Indiana, 50 miles west of Indianapolis and 35 miles northeast of Terre Haute.

Preschooler Programs at Salamonie
“Butterflies and Other Bugs,” a program for ages 2 to 5, was offered Wednesday, June 22, at the Salamonie Interpretive Center. The program ran from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Children and their parent(s) or caregiver learned about butterflies, insects and spiders, tried to catch some, and enjoyed a craft.
In almost any weather, other programs are planned to be both indoors and out, starting at the interpretive center. Participants should arrive early to enjoy the exhibit area and gift shop. Participants can choose to bring their lunch to eat together after the events.

A $2 fee per child is usually charged for the programs. The standard property entrance fee will be waived for program attendees. Get advance registration, by calling (260) 468-2127 or visiting the interpretive center, at 3691 S. New Holland Road in Andrews, Indiana. Caregivers are expected to stay with their child throughout the programs.

Both the Interpretive Center and Otter Run Tradin’ Post are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. This barrier-free building features exhibits, floor-to-ceiling windows in the wildlife viewing area, and staff to answer questions. The center is located in Lost Bridge West Recreation Area on Highway 105 in western Huntington County.

See for more information about programs that are put on by the U(upper)W(Wabash)I(interpretive)S(services) or visit