Who are the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail?
- Buying land to fill the two "gaps" in the trail
- Marketing, promotion and fundraising for the trail
- Surveying trail usage
- Maintain this website
- Coordinate volunteers
- Provide grant funding for projects, materials, amenities, etc.
- Friends are a member of the Pumpkinvine Advisory Committee that coordinates trail management.
The Friends: 30 Years of Persistence
Elkhart County Park Master plan (1979-83) includes Pumpkinvine as possible linear park.
December 4, 1989
Ad hoc committee of Ervin Beck, Norm Kauffmann, John Kolbys, Chet Peachey, and John Yoder meet to discuss promoting a linear park on Pumpkinvine right-of-way. Galen Kauffmann joins the group next month.
March 11, 1992
C.J. Yoder, Chuck Lehman, and John Yoder evaluate the Pumpkinvine's condition.
Ad hoc committee incorporates as Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc.
June 3, 1992
Friends sign option to purchase with Penn Central.
March 11, 1993
Jim Brotherson attorney with Chester, Paff, and Brotherson, Elkhart law firm, offers to represent the Friends of the Pumpkinvine pro bono. He recruits Jim Byron of Thorne, Grodnik, Ransel, Duncan, Byron, & Hostetler to his legal team.
October 22, 1993
Penn Central agrees to sell Pumpkinvine corridor for $100,000. Friends raise $60,000 and borrow $40,000 to reach that goal. Eighty-five individuals and businesses contribute $500 each to be recognized as trail founders.
December 22, 1993
Friends and Penn Central have closing at Schrock Pavilion in Shanklin Park.
January 13, 1994
Friends file lawsuit on Pumpkinvine corridor between SR 4 and CR 28 to determine ownership.
September 2, 1994
Judge Worth Yoder rules that the Friends own Pumpkinvine corridor from SR 4 to CR 28. Friends and Goshen Parks determine to make this 1.75-mile section a linear park demonstration section.
Friends file lawsuit to determine ownership of the Pumpkinvine corridor on eight-mile section of the Pumpkinvine corridor between US 20 and CR 850W in LaGrange County.
October 4, 1997
Norm Kauffmann resigns from Friends board to become Shipshewana town manager.
June 14, 1999
Friends of the Pumpkinvine donate 1.75 miles of Pumpkinvine between SR 4 and CR 28 to the City of Goshen.
March 2, 2000
First 1.5-mile section of the Pumpkinvine between Wayne St. and Bristol Street opens in Middlebury.
September 17, 2005
Half-mile section of the Pumpkinvine between Wayne St. and Bristol Street opens in Middlebury.
June 6, 2009
Grand opening of 3.3 miles of the Pumpkinvine between CR 28 to CR 33.
October 8, 2011
Grand opening of 5.5 miles of the Pumpkinvine between Middlebury and Shipshewana.
1.4-mile section of Pumpkinvine between CR 35 and CR 37 is completed.
October 5, 2013
Ribbon cutting for Pumpkinvine from US20 to Wayne St. in Middlebury.
June 15, 2019
One-mile section of the Pumpkinvine between CR 33 and CR 20 opens.
The Pumpkin Vine Railroad
Recognition & Awards
Board of Directors
Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc.
Keith WeirichVice President
Melissa VoughtAdministrative Manager
Robert CarricoBoard Member
Roger MillerMaintenance Committee Chair
Doug VonGuntenBoard Member
Jared BeasleyBoard Member