People, Parks, and Perceptions

A History and Appreciation of Indiana State Parks

by Glory-June Greiff



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/25/2009

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.5x11
Page Count : 148
ISBN : 9781426903694

About the Book

A useful general history of Indiana’s state parks, this highly readable study explores changes over time in the landscape and built environment. Richard Lieber, the Father of Indiana State Parks, asserted that the “primary purpose” for these lands was “preserving for posterity typical primitive landscapes of scenic grandeur and rugged beauty.” The author has walked these woods and fields all her life. Just what is a state park in Indiana? Definitions of appropriate development and use evolved over decades, often shaped by public clamor and budgetary priorities. Initially, under Lieber’s direction, “contact with nature” was the dominant guideline, and preservation of woodlands a primary consideration. With the New Deal in the 1930s, development in the parks increased and expanded to allow more people to use them, but still mostly in traditional ways, such as picnicking and hiking. In the decades since World War II, changing concepts of leisure and recreational pursuits have increased demand for more parks, more space developed within them, and a greater range of activities offered. But we still cling to older values espousing nature’s restorative power. The problem of too many people trying to make contact with a circumscribed patch of nature has no easy solution.

About the Author

Author of Remembrance, Faith and Fancy: Outdoor Public Sculpture in Indiana, Glory-June Greiff is, among other things, a public historian and passionate preservation activist, currently based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has written numerous articles and publications on Art Deco architecture, historic public schools, and the work of the New Deal. All her life Greiff has loved exploring highways and byways, merging her interests in roadside architecture, transportation history, and the environment. She worked several years in radio and continues to be a performer of song and story. 2010 recipient of the Wilbur D. Peat Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Understanding and Appreciation of Indiana's Architectural Heritage.