Monday, June 24, 2013

Glen Miller Park, A Summer Must See

Young and old, Glen Miller park is the place to be this summer! Driving through you can spot children playing, locals gathering spring water, ducks being fed, and people in general enjoying the great outdoors and everything Glen Miller has to offer.

The Richmond Parks Department has been hard at work recently with spring clean up. A recent visit to Glen Miller revealed a wonderful new foot bridge, new benches, and trash cans, the park looks amazing! The new foot bridge attracts my attention immediately; the ability to walk across part of the lake and take in the pure beauty of the surrounding area really creates a calming atmosphere. I love the peaceful aspect the lake has to offer and I could watch the fountain for hours as the ducks wade by waiting to be fed by the local children.

My son of course loves Glen Miller Park, the huge play ground that offers both a toddler area and school age area really attracts his attention as well as mine. As a mother I feel much safer knowing that the different spaces offer age appropriate play, no longer will I need to worry about dangerous falls or older kids pushing. Come summer, Glen Miller Park is his favorite place to go on a hot day.  In 2011, a splash pad was installed for children to get a chance to cool off and enjoy the water free of charge. My son loves running through and screaming with joy as he cools off in the chilly water.

Grandparents will enjoy spending time alongside their grandkids and reminiscing on their memories of themselves at the park as children.  The park has changed a lot in recent years and new things are added frequently, making the park a hot spot for locals to enjoy and spend countless hours at.

Did you know that Richmond is often referred to as “Rose City”? Located inside Glen Miller is the Richmond Rose Gardens. Stop by in the summer months for an opportunity to take in the sweet aroma of roses planted here. Stroll along the walk ways and take in the pure beauty as butterflies flutter by you and the sounds of birds enlighten your ears. After a stroll through the park and garden, sit and relax in the gazebo and rest your feet.

Also at Glen Miller park stands one of twelve Madonna of the Trail statues. Built in commemoration of pioneer mothers, they were installed in each of the 12 states along the Historic National Road which extends from Cumberland, Maryland to Upland, California. Standing 10 feet high on a base that is 6 feet high and weighing 5 tons, this statue is hard to miss, located on the corner of N 22nd Street & East Main Street. 

Glen Miller Park has plenty to offer for children, adults, and nature enthusiasts. Open dawn to dusk the park is open for countless hours of fun. Located at 2514 East Main Street be sure to stop by and enjoy a nice sunny day at the Park.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Small Town Lifestyle

Once upon a time, before there were megastores and consolidated school systems, all across Indiana were small towns where families connected to build schools to educate their children and where entrepreneurs provided their friends and neighbors with the goods and services they needed for home and health.

Key to the small town lifestyle was a strong sense of identity, a thread of connection that formed a fabric of community for all residents. Today, while we often are far less connected to those who live and work in our neighborhoods, we can recapture a sense of what is was like to grow up in small town America by visiting the museum, library, and thrift shop of the Clay Township Historical and Preservation Society at 19 Pearl Street in Greens Fork, Indiana.

Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., the museum features a fabulous mix of local history and memorabilia encompassing almost every facet of life in Greens Fork and Clay Township. There are photos galore, tools of the trade for a variety of professions, and nostalgic pieces of every description. The museum also displays donated souvenirs from exotic locations around the world.  From a camel saddle, to Native American artifacts, to the original tools of a hometown physician,there are multitudes of fascinating mementos sure to interest any category of visitor.

Sports enthusiasts will especially enjoy the most recently added room of the museum.  The entire room is filled with documentation and decoration representing decades of Greens Fork High School students’ academic and sports achievements.  In the courtyard beyond are a gazebo and a memorial garden, with designated areas honoring groups such as veterans and firefighters.

On the second floor of the museum is a well-stocked and beautifully arranged thrift shop where bargains abound. Started as a means to help fund the museum, the thrift shop has exceeded all expectations, providing low cost goods for shoppers that translate to funding for future development. Shopping hours are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

The legacy of the museum is not only to commemorate the activities and accomplishments of those who grew up in Greens Fork and Clay Township, but also to provide an ongoing link to those lives through the availability of thousands of archived digitalized records that genealogists are free to peruse to gather countless nuggets of useful and fascinating historical data.

Those who remember simpler times in small towns when individuals owned stores and one school held every kid in town, or those who want a glimpse into those times, should head to Wayne County to visit the welcoming atmosphere at the museum in Greens Fork.  The co-docents, Phyllis and Jayne Beers are experts on all things Greens Fork and they are eager to share their knowledge and their hospitality with visitors of all ages and stages. 

To learn more about the many fascinating and fun locations and activities in Wayne County, visit the Old National Road Welcome Center, 5701 National Road East, Richmond, IN (I-70, Exit 156A), www.VisitRichmond.orgor call 800-828-8414.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Adventures in Geocaching

X marks the spot! There is treasure hiding in Wayne County!! Did you ever dream of being a treasure hunting pirate as a kid? Well it’s not too late! People of all ages can hunt for treasure throughout Wayne County. Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a global positioning system (GPS) or a smart phone to hide and seek containers, called geocaches or caches which sometimes contain small treasure items.

So how does it work? First off start by visiting and create a free account.Visit the "Hide & Seek a Cache" page, enter your postal code (47374 for Richmond) and click "search.” There will be many geocaches to choose from all with clever names, choose one and it will open the page displaying coordinates, a short description and possible clues. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache, it will point you in a direction and give you the amount of feet left until you reach the destination. If you don't have a gps, there are apps you can download on your smartphone that will direct you to geocaches as well.
A typical geocache with small prizes
Sometimes a cache can be a large easy find, others called micros or nanos are extremely hard and well hidden forcing you to look all over and sometimes becoming very frustrating. Look up in trees, under logs, inside bushes, or under benches, geocaches can be anywhere. Once you find the geocache jump with joy, open it, sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location. If the geocache is large enough it will contain small trade items, the rule being if you take something you must leave something for the next person. You can then log back into and share your story on the cache page you found called “logging your visit”.
Example of a micro geocache

So why am I telling you how to find a geocache? Well, geocaches are hidden all over, Richmond for instance has 100 or more. The hunt to find a cache takes you to exciting places; local parks, hiking trails, historical buildings, and so much more. This free adventure is a fantastic way to get the family out of the house and exploring the outdoors.
Not sure where to start out? A great geocache to start out with as your first hunt may be located at the Wayne County Tourism Bureau, 5701 National Road East, Richmond, Indiana. Many people from as far away as California have come through Wayne County while geocaching. To find the coordinates and a hint visit the geocache page at "Welcome Center Geocache"
Place the available coordinates into your gps or smart phone and start your adventure! If you stop by and can’t seem to find the hidden treasure, ask one of the lovely ladies at the front desk and they will gladly point you in the right direction or ask for Angel, a local geocacher.

Get your walking shoes on and start out on your treasure hunt! Who knew there was hidden treasure right in your neighborhood? Have fun and enjoy your local adventure!

Written by: Angel Gray
A mother, photographer and avid hiker, Angel enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family. She graduated midterm from Richmond High School in 2009 as a member of the National Honor Society and received her Honors diploma. Angel is the Communications and Social Media Specialist at the Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau.