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In Monticello, families and visitors can enjoy a total spectrum of recreational activities including water sports, hiking, boating, picnicking, baseball, basketball, soccer, football, softball, bicycling, running, fishing, hunting, walking, skiing, tubing and birding. There are endless recreational options in marvelous Monticello!

The Monticello Parks and Recreation Department is the anchor for many activities. The parks and recreation office is housed in the Anheier Building located at the Monticello City Park on South Main Street.

The Monticello City Park boasts both an upper and lower level. The upper park is an action-filled area. There is a lighted basketball court, fenced-in play area for tiny tots, baseball diamond and challenging playground equipment. Park benches, swings, and picnic tables welcome families to come and stay while children play. The park pavilions are in high demand for gatherings, meetings, family reunions, and birthday or anniversary parties.

The lower park level offers nature’s beauty in a secluded area complete with a meandering stream crossed by two rustic bridges. This area features a gazebo, walkways, and greenways. It is a popular site for portrait photography and bird watching.

Annually, the Monticello Rotary Club partners with the Parks Department on many projects including enhancing the beauty in the lower portion of the City Park. This is just one example of community commitment to an ongoing service project.

A park for all seasons, the Monticello City Park becomes a Winter Wonderland during the holidays. Christmas lights and lighted displays turn the upper park into a holiday greeting card as visitors and residents drive through to experience the season.

In 2010, the City purchased property to fulfill the legacy of community leader, William (Bill) Altherr. It was Bill’s wish to create a family-oriented nature park for the community he loved. To ensure that dream, he gifted $638,000 to the Monticello City Parks & Recreation Department.

Altherr Nature Park, located on South Main Street, contains 18.2 acres of land. The area showcases natural grasses and a multi-use trail through the park. Since the park’s acquisition, there have been two volunteer cleanup days to remove debris from the park. Eagle Scouts also have participated in three major projects – a tremendous help with the progress of Altherr Nature Park.

In the beginning of 2012, the Parks Department removed existing buildings and prepared the prairie area for seeding of natural grasses. Altherr Nature Park’s development will continue with construction of the Butterfly Garden and an Outdoor Amphitheatre.

Located at Ohio and First Street, Voigt Park is home to a 25-meter swimming pool with diving area and a wading pool. At this location, the Parks Department offers lifeguard, first aid, and CPR training, in addition to swimming lessons. Voigt Park features lighted softball diamonds, sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, fitness stations, shelters, and a small playground.

Bluewater Beach Park is located on the west bank of the Tippecanoe River. This park provides public access boat docks, and fishing piers. There are several small picnic shelters, grills, a basketball court, and playground equipment for park patrons.

Completed in 2010, Jordan Park on Fisher and First Streets is home to Monticello’s Skate Park. This is an exciting venue for skate boarders, BMX bikes, and in-line or quad skaters. The park also includes a walking trail, playground and pavilions.

Ever evolving and improving, the city plans to complete a walking trail system which will include Tioga Park and the historic Tioga Bridge across Lake Freeman. A vision is that this trail system will connect with Delphi trails to the south and Monon trails to the northwest.

In 2010, the City of Monticello completed work on the Tornado Memorial Park located on South Bluff Street across from the White County Historical Museum. Featured in this area are original street lights, and the water fountain that sat by the Bedford Limestone Courthouse.

The Parks Department, together with the Monticello Union Township Library, provides ongoing classes and activities. The local National Audubon Society Chapter also provides year-round programs and outings.

Each season offers new opportunities to enjoy bird watching. From December to February, Bald Eagles nests are found on the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Each winter, scores of these majestic birds seeking open water for fish migrating into our area.

The twin lakes area is a prime location for waterfowl migration. In early winter, migrating ducks also seek the open water. In the western part of White County, hundreds of American Golden Plovers make our area one of their critical migration stop-overs.

In fall, Sandhill Cranes call overhead as they migrate south through the county. At the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, a short distance from Monticello, you can see approximately 30,000 cranes at one time. Each fall, this is one of Indiana’s greatest wildlife spectacles as the Sandhill Cranes visit the region’s shallow marshes.

Boating and fishing enthusiasts find paradise on Lakes Shafer and Freeman. Boats can be launched from many privately owned resorts, public access sites, and marinas lining the shores of these great lakes.

The Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation (SFLECC) is a not-for-profit corporation that holds title to property under and around Lakes Shafer and Freeman. The SFLECC is dedicated to the welfare and enhancement of the lakes.

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