More Than Places to Play

26 Apr More Than Places to Play

Josh Fauvre, Jack Caudill, Ray Doss and other instrumentalists perform at Akron’s Downtown Community Square during one of the Akron Area Art League’s Summer Concert Series

High quality parks improve the overall quality of life in our communities. Parks have shown to be beneficial to the local economy and to make communities more desirable places to live. They additionally provide many health and social benefits by promoting time spent outside with friends and family. Community parks are assets that help residents get both leisurely exercise and exposure to daylight, which increases happiness and decreases stress. Supporting parks aligns with the mission of the Fulton County Community Foundation (FCCF) to improve the quality of life in our communities.

The Aubbeenaubbee Landing, located in Leiters Ford, is part of the Fulton County Parks system. The original land for the park was donated to the Fulton County Parks Department by the Mary Lancaster family in 2009. A few years later, part of the land was leased to the Indiana DNR for a public access site to the river that runs through the park.

In 2017, a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation enabled the Parks Department to renovate an old cabin on the property into a pavilion, and also to add additional parking for the access site. These improvements will enable community members to hold picnics and events at the pavilion and to have better parking accommodations when using the river for recreational activities, such as kayaking and fishing.

Bill Walsh, president of the Fulton County Parks Department, said, “Without the help of the Community Foundation, we probably would be a long ways down the road in getting this pavilion built.”

The Community Foundation has supported many other parks throughout Fulton County, including Centennial Park, Cutshall Park, Grass Creek Park, Liberty Township Park, Pike Memorial Park, Rochester City Park, and Union Township Park.

Each park has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Some include access to other town amenities, such as the river or bike trails. Centennial Park and Akron Downtown Community Square are unique in that they were designed to be convenient downtown gathering spaces that serve as great locations for concerts and shows. Other unique park offerings include the dog park and disc golf course at Cutshall Park, the fishing pond and walking trail at Prairie Edge, and the impressive jungle gym at Manitou Mountain. All of our parks make our communities more inviting for visitors.

The benefits that come from having a wide variety of parks make the support given to these parks worthwhile. A grant to a local park is an investment into the overall health of our community members. They provide a place for youth and community members of all ages to spend time outside, which relieves stress, improves happiness, and provides recreation and exercise. Plus, they make our communities so much more beautiful! The FCCF is proud of the many unique parks located right here in Fulton County.