Community Foundation Donates $250,000 to Prairie Creek Park

This is a conceptual drawing of what Prairie Creek Park will look like.

With their goal of being more active agents of positive change in the community, Clinton County Community Foundation officials announced a $250,000 gift to the City of Frankfort’s Prairie Creek Park project at a news conference today.

Clinton County Community Foundation Chairman of the Clinton County Services Committee Alan Dunn and Clinton County Community Foundation President Greg Aaron joined Mayor Chris McBarnes at the event celebrating the Foundation’s financial commitment to strengthening Frankfort’s quality of place through enhanced green space.

“The Prairie Creek Park project puts Frankfort and Clinton County at the forefront for transformational change that will add to the quality of place for residents and visitors,” Aaron said. “The Foundation is excited to support this opportunity to connect community dreams to community needs.”

From left are Community Foundation President Greg Aaron, Community Foundation Board Member Laura Mullen, Community Foundation Chairman Alan Dunn and Mayor Chris McBarnes stand around the $250,000 check given to help with the Prairie Creek Park project.

According to Dunn, thanks to Frankfort and Clinton County residents’ philanthropic spirit, at the end of 2017 the Foundation’s endowment crossed the $25 million-plus mark for the first time in the organization’s history.

“The income generated from our endowment combined with our Board’s strategic planning process and end goal of being more focused in affecting positive change for the community has given us greater flexibility to make these types of impactful financial contributions.

“Improving quality of life and quality of place for the residents of Frankfort and Clinton County has long been an objective of our Board. Prairie Creek Park, with its triple benefit of beautiful green space, family-friendly recreation and performing arts venue, addresses this objective directly. We believe it is the perfect complement, both geographically and strategically, to our earlier investment in the nearby Ivy Tech Frankfort campus.

“The two-block area between the Ivy Tech campus and the proposed site for Prairie Creek Park is the heart of Frankfort’s downtown revitalization momentum, the economic development engine propelling our community forward,” Dunn said. “We’ve planted the seeds and those seeds are growing to make a powerful downtown community district.”

With the Clinton County Community Foundation’s healthy endowment, the organization can make the significant investment in Prairie Creek Park while continuing to financially support the smaller, traditional groups who come to the Foundation for assistance.

In accepting the Foundation’s generous gift, McBarnes expressed the City’s gratitude and shared the multiple benefits Prairie Creek Park will provide the community.

“We are grateful to the Clinton County Community Foundation for its partnership and belief in our need for comprehensive recreational amenities such as Prairie Creek Park,” McBarnes said. “This project – and the Foundation’s shared vision and commitment to its success – will serve a significant role in revitalizing the eastern half of our downtown square.

“Created with public and private investments, Prairie Creek Park will add beautiful green space to our downtown, support our small businesses, boost our economic development health and help make Frankfort that much more appealing to professionals and young families interested in living here.”

To be located on the north side of East Washington Street directly across from Nickel Plate Flats, Prairie Creek Park will provide space for the performing arts, interactive water features such as a splash pad, state-of-the-art vendor areas, playground equipment and a dog park, among other great recreational elements.

According to McBarnes, today’s news is the first in an upcoming series of exciting announcements for Prairie Creek Park leading up to the March 7 City-County Leadership Summit featuring leading authority on parks, recreation and tourism sciences University Distinguished Professor Dr. John Crompton of Texas A&M University.

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