Today we had a meeting of the four government agencies that will eventually manage the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail and the Friends of the Pumpkinvine to discuss how we plan to coordinate our efforts once the entire 17-mile trail is open. It’s an exciting development because it signals a level of cooperation that will be necessary for a successful trail. The four government agencies are Goshen Parks, Elkhart County Parks, the town of Middlebury and the town of Shipshewana.
The purpose of this council is to establish common policies and procedures for managing the greenway, policies like when the greenway is open, event coordination, having consistent signage, rules for trail etiquette and a patrolling philosophy. The Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc. are involved as historic landowners and greenway consultants.
One early decision of the group is to use the Friends’ website as the central location for information about the greenway and trail policies. Ultimately, the group will likely formalize relations between the government agencies and the Friends in an intergovernmental agreement.
Members of the council are: from Shipshewana, Sheryl Kelly, town manager and Dave Palenchar, building and grounds superintendent; from Middlebury, Mark Salee, town manager, John McKee, chair of the Middlebury Park board, and Tom Enright, park and recreation manager; from Elkhart County Parks, Larry Neff, superintendent, Steve Gangloff, area manager and Ronda DeCaire, superintendent of operations; from Goshen Parks, Sheri Howland, superintendent, Rich Kindel, director of maintenance, and Tanya Heyde, recreation supervisor; from the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc., Robert Carrico, trail operations manager and John Yoder, president.