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2017 Wall Calendars

Local amateur and professional photographers submitted more than 350 photos to Hendricks County Parks & Recreation as part of a contest to create a wall calendar. Twelve winning photographs were selected and now grace the pages of this unique, first-of-its kind calendar featuring McCloud Nature Park and Sodalis Nature Park.

Month after month throughout 2017, enjoy the beauty of Hendricks County Parks as captured through the eyes of talented photographers. Each month boasts its own photo, and there is room to write appointments and events (such as Hendricks County Parks & Rec programs!) on each day of the month. Purchase one for yourself, and more for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers for all of the nature-lovers in your life! All proceeds benefit your Hendricks County parks!

To save the $2 shipping charge, calendars may also be purchased at the Hendricks County Parks & Recreation main office, located at 955 E. Main Street in Danville, during normal business hours for a $10 donation. Please call in advance (317-718-6188) to make sure the office is staffed on the day you’d like to come by.

Thank you for supporting Hendricks County parks and a natural Hendricks County!


Observation HoneyBee Hive

Support Establishment of a HoneyBee Observation Hive at McCloud

Each year, McCloud Nature Park is visited by over 30,000 people.  Our Nature Center welcomes many of those visitors, including school groups, scouts and families eager to learn and experience nature in all its wonder.  We are excited to announce a new source of environment education and inspiration – an observation honeybee hive!

The observation honeybee hive will be located in the McCloud Nature Center, easily accessible to all visitors.  The hive will be a window into the fascinating world of the honeybee and an amazing teaching tool for our naturalist.

The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County is proud to partner with our Hendricks County Parks in creating a home in our parks for this indispensable pollinator.  We are working hard to raise the funds needed to establish the observation hive and other hives throughout McCloud Nature Park.  We would be so grateful for your donation!


National Selfie Contest Winner Donates Prize to Hendricks County Parks

A Hendricks County woman’s photo of herself and her daughter won a national selfie contest through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), and she then donated her $500 prize to Hendricks County Parks and Recreation.

To celebrate Parks and Recreation Month in July, NRPA held a selfie contest with a different theme every week, encouraging people to take pictures of themselves while enjoying the great outdoors. Each week’s winner took home a $500 Amazon gift card from NRPA. The first theme of the month was to take a selfie with nature.

Meghan Stritar of Brownsburg participated in the Summer Fun Run Series hosted by Hendricks County Parks and Recreation at the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA on July 6 and took a selfie with her daughter during the event. She then submitted the selfie to NRPA to enter the contest.

Through a massive social media effort spearheaded by Stritar, her photo garnered the most votes of all the selfies throughout the country that were submitted to NRPA that week, and she was awarded the first $500 prize of the contest.

Stritar then immediately contacted the Hendricks County Parks and Recreation office and informed them that she is donating her prize to be used for children’s programming.

“The contest was designed to promote local parks, so it seemed logical to me and my family to donate the prize to the county’s parks department,” said Stritar.

A mother of two children and the publisher of Macaroni Kid Hendricks – an online resource for local parents – Stritar and her family frequently attend Hendricks County Parks and Recreation’s programs, many of which are offered at no charge to the public, but which involve supplies for crafts and projects.

“This was a great surprise for us,” said Jeremy Weber, superintendent of Hendricks County Parks and Recreation.  “It’s nice to know we have a community willing to invest like this in parks.  This donation is a huge investment in community health, nature education, and programs for kids.  It will make a real difference, and we are very grateful.”

Hendricks County Parks and Recreation operates McCloud Nature Park, Sodalis Nature Park, and the Amo-Coatesville section of the Vandalia Trail. Families can get more information about their programming at More information about Macaroni Kid Hendricks can be found at

Nature Photos Sought for 2017 Parks Wall Calendar

Deadline for submission has passed!  Winners announced very soon!

Hendricks County Parks & Recreation is calling all professional and amateur photographers to help with photos to be used for a 2017 wall calendar that will feature the department’s three existing facilities:  McCloud Nature Park, Sodalis Nature Park and the Amo-Coatesville section of the Vandalia Trail.

Photos may be submitted for consideration now through September 2, and prize packages will be awarded to the 12 winning photographers whose pictures are selected for the calendar. Winners will receive a free t-shirt, three copies of the 2017 calendar, an 8-ounce bottle of McCloud Maple Syrup, free registration to a Hendricks County Parks & Recreation program in 2016 or 2017, and an additional gift donated by Roberts Camera in Indianapolis.

Details about the contest and how photographs may be submitted can be found on the department’s website at

“We know that there are many talented photographers in the area, and we know that McCloud, Sodalis and the Vandalia Trail offer endless possibilities for outstanding pictures,” said Eric Ivie, who handles communications and marketing for Hendricks County Parks & Recreation. “Creating a wall calendar that highlights our parks is a great way to get photographers’ unique visions of the natural beauty that we offer visitors.”

Ivie said that the department is seeking photos from all four seasons that have been taken within their three facilities. Other than that, he said, there are no restrictions.

“We want photographers to express their creativity and show us their perspective of our parks through their lenses,” said Ivie.

The winning photographs will be chosen in September, and the 2017 calendars will be available for purchase by the end of October, in time for the holiday season.

Hendricks County Parks & Recreation plans to make the calendar photo contest an annual event, so Ivie encourages photographers to take pictures in their parks year-round for future submissions, too.

A Float Through McCloud Nature Park

The Big Walnut Creek runs through McCloud Nature Park in North Salem, Indiana.

On June 12, thirteen-year old, Nick Randall, set out to capture video of entire length of the Big Walnut through McCloud by mounting his GoPro to the front of the canoe.  Below are two excerpts of his voyage.

If you are thinking of canoeing or kayaking on the Big Walnut, McCloud is a great access point.  You can float downstream to Pine Bluff Covered Bridge or  further to the Rolling Stone Covered Bridge or even further all the way to US 36.  The creek is shallow in parts, but still lots of adventure to be had!