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New Haven-Adams Township Parks looking ahead on use of Haskamp property

Most of the land could become a natural area.

The New Haven-Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department's park board has hired Earth Source to develop ideas for future use of the department's Haskamp property on Hartzell Road, which could include developing it into a natural area. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
The Haskamp property the New Haven-Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department is retaining on Hartzell Road includes 30 acres of woods and about 20 acres of farmland. The parks department's park board plans to sell an additional 26 acres of farmland that also were part of the Haskamp property. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)

What now is a mix of woods and farmland could become a 50-acre park featuring natural areas pending public input and future decisions by the New Haven-Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department park board.

“Something like a Metea Park, but on a much smaller scale,” New Haven-Adams Township Parks Superintendent Mike Clendenen said, referring to the Allen County Parks property on Union Chapel Road near Leo-Cedarville that includes woods, a prairie, pond, nature center and trails.

New Haven-Adams Township Parks board members took an initial step toward that idea Monday night by hiring local landscape design firm Earth Source to develop a “visioning” plan for how the former Haskamp farm property could be used in the future, Clendenen said.

The entire Haskamp property covers about 80 acres, but park board members previously decided to put 26 acres of farmland up for sale. The site is located on the east side of Hartzell Road a short distance north of Paulding Road.

Park board members believe the parks department doesn’t need the entire 80 acres and think selling the 26 acres will provide revenue for parks operations, Clendenen said.

The land is scheduled to be auctioned Nov. 20. But the park board has a minimum sale price in mind and can decline to sell if bids don’t meet that amount, Clendenen said.

The park board’s discussion about the future of the Haskamp property is part of broader efforts to update the New Haven-Adams Township Parks Department’s 5-year master plan for its parks system, as well as to update plans for Werling and Havenhurst parks, Clendenen said.

Parks departments typically must have park development plans in place, he said, to apply for grants for work at a park or in case a person, company or organization expresses interest in sponsoring or funding part of a park development plan.

Werling Park, for example, now contains grassy areas, trees and a half-mile walking trail, Clendenen said. The park, which is located on Werling Road between Indiana 930 and Moeller Road, would be a good place for a playground, pavilion, outdoor fitness trail and possibly a splash pad, he said.

The parks department also would like to consolidate most or all of its athletic fields at Havenhurst Park, 211 N. Rufus St., which already has fields for baseball, softball and football, courts for basketball and tennis, and a pavilion, Clendenen said.

The Haskamp property currently has only a walking trail through the 30-acre woods, he said. The only access to the trail is from the neighborhood adjoining the woods.

New Haven-Adams Township Parks already has about 80 acres of natural areas, but all of that land lies along rivers and often floods, Clendenen said. The Haskamp property won’t flood.

Clendenen envisions the property could be developed with natural areas and possibly a pond stocked for fishing.

Clendenen hopes Earth Source will return early next year with Haskamp property ideas and that the proposals can be presented to the public before spring.

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