Park Planning

Porter County Parks and Recreation values your input. No park plan is complete without broad and meaningful participation from the public and various interest groups. 
If you have any ideas, questions, comments or concerns, contact our Superintendent Walter Lenckos at

Park Plans

Park master plans provide the public a way to help determine the best uses for a specific site and to optimize the management of the parks resources.  We have developed a new 2017 5-Year Comprehensive plan to guide our goals and developments for the next 5 years. In the process of preparing this plan, we conducted a survey of Porter County residents which details public use of and opinions about Porter County's parks and programs. This needs assessment survey was made possible through a generous donation of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

The full report is available here: Porter County Community Parks Survey.
The full 2017 Comprehensive Master Plan is available at the link below.

Current Projects

Sunset Hill Farm County Park: Raise the Silo

Sunset Hill Farm County Park is a gathering place for residents of Porter County, and Northwest Indiana. It is centrally located, expansive, and beautiful. It is also home to our youth, adult, and family programs. All of these programs are growing at a rapid rate. And this growth means that the need for a large indoor gathering space has never been greater.

In the past few years our programs have seen a  dramatic increase in participation: 

  • More than 150% increase in participation at our summer camps
  • More than tripling of the participation in adult programs
  • More than 6,000 students each year in our school programs

The Silo will:

  • Serve as an outdoor and educational facility
  • Serve as a gathering place for the community
  • Accommodate more than 100 people
  • Have a real farm feel, built near the site of the original barn
  • Feature green and sustainable design

Sunset Hill Farm County Park: Pond and Prairie Restoration

Prairie: The South Prairie Restoration Project will enhance the public experience at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. Upon completion, the project will improve wildlife habitat, water quality and environmental education.

The project area is home to myriad of birds, mammals, invertebrates and plant species. The principle goal of the project is to improve this habitat.

The restoration of the South Prairie will not only allow improvement to the area and appeal to more species to the site; it will also attract professional and amateur animals and bird lovers to Sunset Hill County Farm to enjoy their presence.

Pond: “No-Can-Do” Pond is a highlight of the Sunset Hill Farm County Park experience. Created in the 1950’s as a way to provide for fire protection to the property, it now provides year round as well as migratory habitat to a diverse set of birds, mammals, arthropods and insects.

The goal of the project is to remove the non-native exotic species, replace them with native plantings, enlist and educate the public in the process and train our local staff to care and manage the site properly for the future.

Sunset Hill Farm County Park: Children's Natural Garden and Playground 

A natural playground is an area in which kids can play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood and living plants. A natural playground mimics the natural environment and encourages exposure to the natural world. A natural playground looks quite different from a traditional playground. Natural playgrounds encourage children to use their imagination while experiencing the smells and textures of the natural world. Then natural playground is less costly than a traditional playground and environmentally friendly. 

Porter County Parks and Recreation intends to design, survey and construct a green, sustainable natural playground that is ADA accessible that is also cognitively and physically challenging.