|Mon, Mar 10, 2014 01:32 PM
July 17, 2013 | 09:33 AM
Corydon resident Rand Heazlitt spent a good portion of his youth in parks working as a lifeguard at Community Park Lake in Floyd County and now, after 25 years or so of various work in nonprofit organizations, he's back in parks as the Harrison County Parks Dept. supervisor.
Heazlitt said Buffalo Trace Park just east of Palmyra, with its large lake, feels like coming home in some ways.
Just before taking the position with the parks department, Heazlitt was a part of the design and build team for Indiana Caverns.
"I finished up with that and then moved directly to this job," Heazlitt said.
He began the supervisor position in the busiest time of the year for the parks, with swim meets taking place and the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Corydon. Other than maintaining and improving the current parks, Heazlitt said the department joined in partnership with the bicentennial committee to try to secure grant funds for Morvin's Landing near Mauckport, which could become a historical park.
The 93-acre property would be a low-maintenance historical park like the Battle of Corydon Park south of Corydon.
Henry Heth and many of Harrison County's early settlers used Morvin's Landing as a crossing point from Kentucky. It was also a site on the underground railroad and the spot where Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders crossed into Indiana during the Civil War (making it a stop on the historic Morgan's Raid Trail).
The Alice Dean steamboat could be found at Morvin's Landing, which was a ferry point until 1966 when the Matthew E. Welsh Bridge was constructed.
Heazlitt said the county and its residents are truly blessed to have the park resources, including the Indian Creek Trail, that it has.
"South Harrison and Buffalo Trace are just fabulous parks," he said.
Heazlitt said he hopes to make the parks more accessible for everyone in the county and to "let everyone know what they've got in their backyard."
"We'll assess everything and plan for the future," Heazlitt said of his goals for the department.
The department said goodbye Monday afternoon to Linda Stocksdale, who served as the parks director in the 1990s and was persuaded in April to return as interim director after Claudia Howard was terminated from the position. Stocksdale remained available a couple of extra weeks to help Heazlitt with the transition. Heazlitt and the parks board marked July 15 as "Linda Stocksdale Day" for the Harrison County parks.
The Harrison County Parks Dept. has seven parks with more than 700 acres of property with the options to fish, camp, swim, canoe, paddle boat, play softball, tennis, basketball or have a picnic.
For more information about the parks, call 738-8236.