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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Construction continues at DePauw Nature Park

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Workers were busy Friday working on new structures going up at the DePauw Nature Park.
The DePauw Nature Park continues to grow. School may be out for the summer and students gone home but two centers at the Park are well underway.

Plans for the James and Susan Bartlett Center for Reflection include a building overlooking the walls of the quarry in the Park.

The Janet Prindle Ethics Institute provides space to support an Ethics Institute and host visiting faculty members and DePauw faculty affiliates as well as workshops and seminars.

The building includes offices, reading rooms, reflection spaces and meeting and dinning facilities for 12-150 visitors. Complete development of this concept may include a small number of bungalow-scale residential facilities and additional meeting rooms.

The Nature Park is a 520-acre park that includes seven trails, a campground, canoe launch, outdoor amphitheater, research areas, a welcome center and environmental field station.

Trails include woodland, quarry bottom and creekside paths as well as lanes on the rim of the quarry and along old railroad lines. Trails also lead from the DePauw campus to the park.

Restrooms are available in the Welcome Center and canoeing and kayaking trips can be scheduled through the Walnut Valley Canoes at 765-653-2414. Camping is available only for DePauw faculty members, staff, alumni and students.

Hanson Aggregates mined a limestone quarry on the current site of the park. The company donated 280 acres of land and leases another 178 acres to the University for $1 annually. The University acquired adjacent property increasing the total acreage of the park to 520.

The quarry began operations in 1917 or 1918, ended mining operations in the early 1970s and was closed in 1977. The quarry discontinued operations after the railroad line was discontinued, as it was the main distribution system for the product.

The property was purchased by Hanson Building Materials America in 1991.

Surveys collected in the spring of 2006 showed an estimated 1,200-1,500 people visiting the Park each week.

The DePauw University Nature Park is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Camping is permitted only in designated areas and with authorization.

For information, contact Brien Holsapple, park ranger, at 765-658-1076, or the Public Safety Office at 765-658-4261.

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