Major construction underway at Ossian’s Archbold-Wilson Park
June 21, 2013
By GLEN WERLING
Inspiration can come from many sources.
At Ossian, inspiration is coming from the construction of the long-planned but little accomplished Archbold-Wilson Memorial Park.
Archbold Wilson is the big 65-acre park on Ossian’s southeast side. For about 13 years it’s consisted of the Lenny Gerber Walking Trail and a farm field.
That’s changing — and changing dramatically this year — after the Ossian Park Board landed $137,058 a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources last year.
The biggest obstacles that the park board faced in getting the park developed were drainage and funding. From the very beginning, it was decided by the board that many of the features of the park would be paid for through donation and fundraising. But no one seemed interested in raising money for drainage.
Development of the park languished for lack of drainage. That problem was solved primarily by the DNR grant.
With construction started in the park, according to Ossian Town Manager Luann Martin, the inspiration has come for other groups to pitch in and start fundraising for some other features. She cited, as an example, the effort being spearheaded by the Ossian Psi Iota XI chapter to build an amphitheater at the park.
Construction of a concrete skate pad has already been accomplished and a $5,000 grant from the Wells County Foundation will pay for some of the features to be installed.
Also completed last year were a number of drainage tile relocations, and a handicap accessible drive and parking lot.
Construction is underway on a pond, a nature area and swale that will serve as an overflow for the pond and connect with the Eight Mile. The dirt dug out for the pond and the swale will be used for a sledding hill and also may serve as the seating area for the amphitheater.
Ossian Revitalization also plans to work with the park board on fundraising ideas for other features for the park.
“I think that the development that we’ve done so far has sparked an interest in the community to keep this project rolling. That’s exactly what we intended,” Martin said. υ