Unity Foundation of La Porte County had to get creative to thank donors for their support of Unity Park, a two acre area on beautiful Pine Lake, which is now home to new public art. In a well-attended celebration, the Power of Community shined bright as many donors and supporters watched as the tribute art was revealed. In the celebration, Ed Volk, Past Co-Chair of the Unity Foundation Board of Directors, and Maggi Spartz, President, thanked the Unity Foundation Board and the many corporate and private donors that made this project possible. Volk provided a brief history of the project. Jon Gilmore and Michele Magnuson, current Co-Chairs of Unity highlighted a permanent plaque located at the Park commemorating the project leaders.
When it was gifted to the City in 2016, the property was appraised at $1,515,000. The accompanying endowment fund for its care was started with a $100,000 gift from the La Porte Park Foundation. Mayor Mark Krentz said, “This is a project that I did not mind inheriting. Thank you for preserving our beautiful lakefront” and introduced Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber who said “Thank you to the Unity Foundation and the project donors for this wonderful community green space.” The care given by Schreiber and his team help assure this park greets visitors and residents with a welcoming view of one of our largest and most beautiful lakes each day. Kathy Chroback, Mayor of La Porte at the time this project began said, “Maggi came to me with this idea. She and the Unity Board weren’t sure this would get support, but I told them that the people of La Porte are caring and generous. They would support this fabulous project.”
During the presentation, Spartz thanked public artist Deb Landry for her inspiration and execution of the art. Spartz also highlighted the decision to work with Recycled Granite which gave four distinct benefits: diverting 2,000 pounds of granite from the landfill, employing several Special Needs Artisan Apprentices to create, deliver and help install the tiles making the 11’ x 11’ portion of concrete permeable, letting rainwater through naturally; and finally recognizing Unity Park supporters in a permanent and artful way. The event was capped off as the sun set over Pine Lake, with a view that is forever protected thanks to the generous donors in our community.
To see the artwork, visit Unity Park on Pine Lake Avenue and consider making a donation to the Unity Park Endowment Fund at www.uflc.net to support the maintenance and care of Unity Park forever.
The Park was also one of the Bicentennial Nature Trust, legacy projects commemorating Indiana’s bicentennial celebration in 2016. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch toured the park later that evening.