February 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— The Eagle Creek Park Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing one of the nation’s largest city-owned parks, is the beneficiary of a $250k endowment from Barbara Ann Frantz Storer, who passed away in December 2013.
Barbara, 94, worked at the Marion County Library for 30 years and served on the Board of Directors for Vivian Smith House. She was married to the late John E. Storer, an active supporter of Eagle Creek Park and the Foundation.
In 1973, John served on the initial Citizens Advisory Committee that brought together a group of park users to provide a strong voice on environmental and public use issues confronting the park, which later formed the Eagle Creek Park Foundation.
As member No. 2 of the Eagle Creek Sailing Club, he competed with great success locally, and on occasion nationally, in 14-foot Hobie Cats, which he raced clear into his 80’s.
“It took us by surprise,” said Michael Davis, Eagle Creek Park Foundation president. “It’s amazing to see how the park leaves an everlasting mark in people’s lives.”
“Without gracious contributions from our members and park supporters like the Storer’s, the Foundation wouldn’t be able to fulfill its mission,” Davis said.
Over the past 15 years, the Foundation has put more than $2.4 million back into Eagle Creek Park with $1.6 million dedicated to the building of the Earth Discovery Center, and more than $145,000 for the Ornithology Center.
Together, both nature centers attract 100,000 visitors a year, and 25,000 students with its environmental education programs.
Another $75,000 has been used for park art programs, concerts, trail maintenance and improvements to the Marina.
The Eagle Creek Park Foundation board of directors is made up of volunteers who rely primarily on membership for financial support to fund park improvements, trail restoration projects and environmental education programs within Eagle Creek Park.
$20 of each gate park pass purchased through the Foundation also helps support programs solely within Eagle Creek Park, and waives the daily park entrance fee for the calendar year.
With over 3,900 acres of land and almost 1,400 acres of water, Eagle Creek Park represents almost half of the acreage under the stewardship of Indy Parks.