Bloomington, Indiana – A recent donation to the Bloomington Parks Foundation will finance the creation of a master plan for the city park known as the “Goat Farm” and enable the development of passive recreation amenities.

In 2007, the 33-acre Goat Farm estate was donated by the Sherman Rogers family to the Bloomington Parks Foundation. In 2009, the Parks Foundation deeded the land to the Department of Bloomington Parks and Recreation. Provisions in the deed of the property suggest that the park’s only acceptable “development” is for public recreation and publicly accessible greenspace. The deed also specifies that best management practices be used by the Parks and Recreation Department to preserve the protective vegetation on the banks of Jackson Creek, which runs along the east edge of the property.

“Thanks to their continued generosity, the beautiful piece of farmland the Rogers family donated in 2007 will become even more inviting,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Our residents and visitors will benefit greatly from the contribution of Rogers to our shared green space, which provides our trail system with a much-needed refuge and essential connectivity, and an opportunity for responsible stewardship of our natural areas.”

In 2013, members from the Rogers family, the Parks Foundation and the Department of Parks and Recreation met with Mader Design, a design company located in Beech Grove, Ind., to create a conceptual design plan for passive recreation at the Goat Farm. Following a large donation of funds for the project by Sherman and Meredith Rogers to the Bloomington Parks Foundation, the design, which included a picnic shelter, native tree and prairie plantings, and park benches along with an extended, paved trail, was resurrected for further review in 2020.

“We are delighted by the kindness and foresight of Bloomington residents who see park significance as a place for peaceful reflection and serene visits”, Paula McDevitt, Administrator of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, said. We look forward to continuing our discussions with both the Rogers family and the Park’s neighbors to ensure that the Rogers family legacy is both welcome and conserved.”

The deed also calls for the park to be named “Rogers Family Park.”

At its meeting on 26 January 2021, the Board of Park Commissioners will review the draft contract with Mader Design to finalize the park design plans. The Parks and Recreation Department will hold public open houses to present the design for a period of time following the receipt of the draft design plan, and will seek input on the design and elements from Bloomington residents.