Last weekend’s significant rainfall amounts produced the first flood of the year and prompted flood warnings and advisories throughout Boone and neighboring counties, and local residents gathered off of South Elm Street bordering Lions Park to get a look at the rising water.
At the peak, the depth reached several feet deep, transforming the park into a temporary retention pond. Other low-lying areas, including the Zionsville Golf Course and other area parks and trails, were also affected by the heavy rains that resulted in high-water roadway advisories.
Al Smith, Assistant Supt. for Maintenance Services of the Zionsville’s Parks and Recreation Dept., explained that recreational areas, such as Lions Park and the Zionsville Golf Course, were knowingly built in established flood zones. These areas were unusable for most types of development but were ideal for parks, trails, tennis courts and other similar uses.
“The job of these areas are to act as flood plains,” Smith said. “The water has to go somewhere, and these plains are satisfying their main job.”
The golf course and parks were built with dual purposes in mind, assuming that most of the year the residents would be able to enjoy the use of these lands recreationally, and when compromised by flooding, they would assist in protecting neighboring properties. Recent damage reports to the parks and golf course were minimal as they are closed for the season.
The Parks and Recreation Dept. maintains many of the area’s public parks and trails, however, Lions Park, privately owned by the Zionsville Lion’s Club, relies on its members and community volunteers to assist in debris removal, erosion control and replenishing the landscaping, as necessary.
Lions Club members are joining in the clean-up efforts.
“We organized a clean-up event at Lions Park with the assistance of the members and the Leo Lions on Wednesday,” Leigh Ann Akard, Lions Club president, said.
These efforts will be on-going to ensure the continued safety and enjoyment of visitors to the park, Akard said.