observation deck at sunset hill county park valparaiso indiana

New Observation Deck at Sunset Hill Park

     A new wetland observation deck at Sunset Hill Farm County Park is ready for visitors. Located on the northeast side of the pond, the viewing platform provides access for birdwatching and observing wetland wildlife. It will also serve as a place to provide educational programming about wetland plants and animals, which has become a popular topic of Porter County Parks programs since restoration of the pond began in 2014.

     The pond – named “No-Can-Do Pond” – was dug in 1952 as a fire suppression resource for the original farm at Sunset Hill. No one was allowed to fish, swim or boat in the pond, which is where it earned its unusual name. But today the Porter County Parks Department continues to rehabilitate the once man-made pond into a native habitat.

     The installation of the new observation deck was made possible with help from other local organizations. “This area was overgrown and inaccessible just a couple of months ago,” said Parks superintendent Walter Lenckos. “Thanks to volunteers from Lakeside Wealth Management at this year’s United Way Day of Caring, we were able to clear this entire section of land in only one morning.” Funds for the project were provided by NIPSCO through the Parks Department’s ongoing partnership with Porter County Parks Foundation. Volunteers from NIPSCO also completed a large part of the platform’s construction in early September.

     Visitors can enjoy the observation deck from dawn to dusk at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, which is located at 775 Meridian Road. Educators can also schedule a field trip for their students by calling the Porter County Parks naturalist office at 219-465-3641. More information about the Porter County Parks Department can be found at www.portercountyparks.org.

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Sue Baxter