WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State Parks’ preparations for next year’s solar eclipse are well underway as officials work to plan and prep park locations, events and programs, travel ways, volunteers, bathroom access, emergency services, merchandise, and more for the expected crowds.

While it’s still a little too early to tell exactly how many people will be in attendance, Indiana State Parks are working with properties and other agencies to lay the foundation for the community to enjoy the astronomical event.

“At this point, properties are working individually on how they’re going to manage the plans and we are working on communications pieces,” explained Ginger Murphy, Deputy Director for Stewardship with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “We’re working on some items that might be for sale things like T-shirts and books or water bottles, things like that with the state’s eclipse logo on it. We’re also working on emergency plans, we got a lot of people in one spot, so how we manage if there’s an emergency of some sort, if there’s a storm, or if someone gets hurt for some reason, you know so we’re doing that kind of planning.”

Data from the 2017 solar eclipse that brought in a lot of people to the southern part of the state will be analyzed and applied to the plans for next year’s eclipse. Some areas in the Wabash Valley and further like Vigo County, Parke County, Knox County, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Evansville, and more will be in the zone of totality which will allow for a full, nearly dark view of the eclipse for up to around 4 minutes in some areas.

Murphy stressed the importance of proper eyewear during the event stating that there are other ways to view the eclipse without glasses that can be found online.

“Just a reminder of how important it is not to look at the sun directly to have eclipse glasses or to use one of the other techniques that’s out there for looking at the eclipse and there are resources online,” Murphy said.

With the 2024 eclipse occurring in April, Murphy mentioned the unpredictability of the weather and how it may impact the viewing.

“I think one other factor to think about is the fact that this one is in April and our weather is a lot less predictable in April when we could have rain and cloud cover so that’s gonna impact that’s the type of visitation we have as well. But the next total eclipse that will be visible in the United States is not until 2044, so if people want to get a good look, this is a chance it’s coming right across Indiana, so it’s very cool,” Murphy said.

For those interested in viewing locations, where the eclipse will be visible in the state, or to get in contact with Indiana State Parks, visit their Total Solar Eclipse webpage.