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Maple ‘Sirup’ Days and Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser

The 8th Annual Parks Foundation of Hendricks County Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser will return on March 5 and 12, 2016 when the sap starts flowing from our Sugar Maple trees. The Foundation will serve up pancakes with real Maple Syrup at McCloud Nature Park!

The Pancake Fundraiser is held in conjunction with the 6th Annual Maple ‘Sirup’ Days at McCloud Nature Park. Support our Parks and experience historical and modern maple sugaring.

Reservations are encouraged, but not required.  This event is a free-will fundraiser for our Hendricks County Parks!



Running in a Natural Hendricks County

We are 10McCloud 9/26 days out from the Fall Colors Run at McCloud Nature Park – October 17, 2015.  Hendricks County is fortunate to have many fitness opportunities, including all types of runs – road races, adventure runs, fun runs, duathlons, triathlons, and my personal favorite trail runs.

Running on trails provides a much deeper connection within yourself and nature. The outside world is shut out and the sights and sounds of nature prevail.   It is possible to completely lose yourself in your run and become part of nature.  Add in a runner’s high and it might be the closes you can get to complete peace.

Set aside the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of running in nature – it is also great for us physically.  Getting out on the trails gives our bodies a break from the stress of pounding the pavement.  It also strengthens our stabilizing muscles that keep overuse injuries at bay.

Fall is theIMG_1776 perfect time to connect to nature and the best way to do that is during a run!

Our Hendricks County Parks offer some of the best trail running in the state!  Visit us this fall and winter.  BTW-the stillness and silence of a winter trail run is amazing .

Hope to see you at the Fall Colors Run at McCloud Nature Park on October 17 for a trail run under a canopy of fall color on the banks of the Big Walnut Creek!  I can’t wait!

-Julie Randall, Parks Foundation of Hendricks County


Monarch Migration Watch


Abundance of Monarch Butterflies at McCloud Nature Park

The Monarch Butterfly is back…and we couldn’t be more happy!  For the last two decades, the population of monarchs has decreased, by some reports up to 90%.  In our own Hendricks County Parks, we have seen the impact. But this summer, they seem to be making a comeback!IMG_1512

Each summer, a family program, Monarch Migration, is held at McCloud Nature Park.  Last year, monarchs were difficult to find, this year they are abundant!  We were able to tag 25 butterflies (could have done more, but we ran out of tags) for Monarch Watch to help track the migration patterns of the monarch.

The greatest number of monarchs will be passing through our Parks this week, September 14-26, as they migrate to California and Mexico.  Although these butterflies won’t return, their children will.  They will make the journey back to our area next summer and bring with them the hope of a continued resurgence of the monarch.

You can help increase the population of monarch butterflies by creating a habitat for them in your own yard.  Plant milkweed (for the caterpillars), butterfly weed, butterfly bushes and any vibrant flowers in your garden.  You can find all of these plants at our 2016 Native Plant Sale in April.

Don’t miss the monarch migration – visit one of our Hendricks County Parks this week!


Expansion Updates – Sodalis Nature Park

Progress is being made to expand Sodalis Nature Park by nearly 2,000 acres! This is a huge collaborative effort by the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the Hendricks County Park Board to give protected land back to our community! Watch for exciting developments in the coming months!

Update:  The MOU has been extended to work toward the full expansion of Sodalis in 2017!

October 16, 2016

MOU signed by the Hendricks County Park Board and the Indianapolis Airport Authority to work toward the transfer of nearly 2,000 acres of conservation land to our Hendricks County Parks! The land includes protected wetland areas that provide critical habitat for the endangered Indiana bat plus many other species of animal and plant life.  IAA and Hendricks County Park Board will meet regularly to collaborate and develop a plan for maintenance and the future use of the land.

From William Roche, superintendent for the Hendricks County Parks:  “This is an amazing opportunity with the potential to create a public park unlike any in the nation, on land already set aside for the protection of an endangered species.  If realized, this future park will serve as an outstanding resource for our community. And, the willingness of the IAA to work with the Park Board, county elected officials, and other partners to help create a community asset on this land really speaks to the caliber of their organization. They have been wonderful partners.”

Full announcement of MOU


Fall Foliage Watch 2015

McCloud Fall

Autumn has arrived in our Hendricks County ParksMcCloud, Sodalis and the Vandalia Trail! 

Our trees are expected to peak in a blaze of orange, red and yellow the second to third week of October.  Check back here to stay updated on the foliage as Fall rolls through with pictures from our Parks.

October 23, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Fall foliage is peaking!  

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October 20, 2015 @ Sodalis and McCloud Nature Park – Prime leaf peeping!IMG_1916-001 - Copy IMG_1948 - Copy

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October 13, 2015 @ Vandalia Trail – Tunnel of color and a chickent!

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October 11, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Color has arrived! 

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October 7, 2015 @ Sodalis Nature Park – Fog cleared this morning just in time to reveal some peeks of Fall colors at Sodalis!

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October 3, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Chilly, cloudy day but the beauty of McCloud never disappoints!  Still waiting on some more color!

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September 27, 2015 @ Sodalis Nature Park – Fall color is coming!

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September 26, 2015  @ McCloud Nature Park – Just a few peaks of color today

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September 23, 2016 @ McCloud Nature Park