WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV– The Vigo County Parks Department is bringing new additions to one popular spot in the community– thanks to a partnership with the county health department. 

The county will add about 0.6 miles in trails, as well as a new parking lot, to the Bicentennial Park area, which will connect to the east side of the pedestrian walkway in West Terre Haute. 

Vigo County Parks Superintendent Adam Grossman said his department has looked into making these additions for several years, and thought they would have to reduce the project in 2022 due to costs. 

“We started it years ago through archeology and all the state requirements,” he said. “Since then, as you can imagine, prices have grown, so last year we were going to go back to the drawing board, possibly cut this project even in half. The health department came to us and said, ‘we can help,’ formed a great partnership with a great opportunity.”

The health department received around $137,000 in federal funding, according to Vigo County Council President Todd Thacker. They decided to transfer that money to parks to allow them to go through with that project– a decision made official during the county council meeting on Tuesday. 

“The health department had received funding for the COVID vaccine. What they did, is they then did a transfer for appropriations to the parks department. That was a great thing to do,” Thacker said. 

Grossman believes this partnership between the departments will be beneficial to the community as a whole. 

“Vigo County is about 72nd [in the state of Indiana] in health and wellness,so we have a lot of work to do, and it falls on us to help, so what a natural partnership between the health department and our department to make this a reality,” he said. 

He also hopes this can help make areas like the butterfly garden and the Wabashiki Wetland more popular. Grossman said that the county has already obtained the needed permits, and hope to begin construction soon and finish possibly as soon as this summer. 

“The pedestrian walkway is already a wildly popular spot, so this will just add to that popular amenity,” he said.