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Farm at Prophetstown officials speak out on park expansion

The $1.1 million deal will expand the park 134 acres southeast.

Posted: Jul 2, 2019 10:45 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)- Officials from the Farm at Prophetstown are speaking out about the DNR's decision to expand Prophetstown State Park. The $1.1 million deal will expand the park 134 acres southeast.

DNR officials say the expansion is a part of the park's master plan. As we previously reported, the 134-acre expansion will create a space for new power lines to be built.

When the DNR first started discussions, there were three options for the power line issue: build the power lines on land the DNR plans to develop, purchase new land to put the lines or relocate them to the 1920's Farm at Prophetstown. Relocating the power lines to the farm would have been the cheapest option, but it was decided in March to purchase new property. The DNR had been looking at purchasing the land since the 1990's.

Many people expressed concern that if the power lines were to be moved to the farm, it would ruin the farm's vintage look.

Leslie Martin Conwell, Executive Director of the Farm at Prophetstown, said the final solution to build the lines in a new area benefits the farm and the park. She also said it won't affect the beauty of the park either.

"They will be located away from the farm [and] away from the park. So the needed power and routing is there, but yet the visuals are not severely affected," Martin Conwell said.

The power lines have brought up the topic of modernization in places like Prophetstown State Park. 

Martin Conwell said in terms of modernization, she knows things will sometimes have to be changed. However, they make sure the farm has everything it needs while keeping its original feel. 

"We do our very best to make that [modernization] as non-visible as possible," she said. "For instance the power lines, the electricity here is buried so there's no modern intrusion."

Leslie said the farm is happy with the DNR's decision to build the power lines on the newly-purchased land. 

A lake will eventually be developed on the new property.

The DNR had no new information or comment to give on the expansion at this time. News 18 will continue to following this story as construction continues at the park. We will provide any and all updates on air and on our website. 

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