The Deer Creek Fish and Wildlife Area, which surrounds the Putnamville Correctional Facility, will be available for public access with some limitations starting Oct. 29.
"All the other things we work on are important, but generations from now this will still be providing enjoyment to those who come after us," Daniels said.
The land will be given to the IDNR as part of a land swap. In return for the site, 1,200 acres of IDNR land will be given to the Military Department of Indiana to expand Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh. Any land taken from the DNR must be compensated with land given to the IDNR of equal or greater value.
After the land is open to the public, people will be able to hunt, fish and trap with restrictions depending on the activity.
Mark Reiter, the director of the division of Fish and Wildlife for the IDNR, said there would be some limitations on access to the park.
"It is easy to overuse public ground," Reiter said. "We want to try and create a system of use here that preserves the beauty of this place so we don't get to that point."
Reiter said the IDNR intends to limit access by only having the site open Friday to Monday. There will also be limited access to parts of the wildlife area.
The wildlife area once included a farm used by the DOC in some prisoner activities.
"The offenders that used to come out here and feed the cows are now in other diversionary programs," said Kevin Orme, the director of Construction Services with the DOC.
Orme said the nonviolent prisoners who used to work on the farm are now likely to be released or are at home with an ankle bracelet.
There is still some operational farmland on the property, which will continue to be leased to the current operators of the land.
Reiter of the IDNR said the organization is not concerned with the close proximity to the correctional facility.
"We're working with DOC to put fencing and signs up to keep our people separate from the prison," Reiter said. "We've laid out the boundaries to make that fairly easy and easily recognizable so I don't think we're going to have any problems with [being so close to the prison]."
Daniels said he hopes Deer Creek becomes a resource to local Hoosiers, especially children.
"I think for a lot of our younger people [Deer Creek] may be their first real encounter with nature and may open their eyes in a whole new way," Daniels said.