Porter County hoping to expand Brincka-Cross Gardens this year
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent May 2, 2013 9:30PM
Updated: June 4, 2013 6:24AM
VALPARAISO — An expansion of the Brincka-Cross Gardens park in Pines Township — and up to $150,000 in grant money to help fund it — seems imminent this year, according to Porter County Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos.
Last year Porter County Parks and Recreation missed getting a Recreational Trails Program grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources by one point in the rating system.
Plans for Brincka-Cross placed fifth in the ranking that awarded the grants to four recreation entities.
Porter County’s difference this year is “we have a land acquisition as part of the grant (application),” Lenckos said at Thursday’s Park Board meeting.
Last year’s grant winners all had planned land purchases as part of their grant applications.
The new land would come from a neighbor to the north, who has offered to sell 5 acres to expand Brincka-Cross.
If the parks department gets the grant, it will have to provide a 20 percent match, making any purchases or expenditures an 80-20 split.
The house at Brincka-Cross recently received improvements on its greenhouse, which had begun to rot.
Lenckos said a carpenter did 60 hours of community service to make the improvements, making the greenhouse stand out from the rest of the house.
Resident Herb Read suggested some sort of historical designation for the house because improvements to bring it up to current building codes could effect the building’s structure.
Lenckos said the department is already looking into that and its pros and cons, including the possibility of having to get permission to make any alterations to the building.
In other business, Lenckos said that there will be a meeting at Sunset Hill Farm County Park on May 22 about remarking the trail system there.
The parks department would like to have parallel trails overlap and add number designations to the color designations on the trails.
Overlapping trails would allow for restoration of more land to its natural state, and the numbers would let new users know where the trails lead.
“We’re getting a lot of new users through our marketing efforts, and we want to make it as positive an experience as possible for them,” Lenckos said.