September 6, 2022

The Board of Park Commissioners at their August meeting approved contracts totaling nearly $754,000 to add amenities to improve the visitor experience at Goat Farm Park and to protect the park’s signature barn and silo.

Funding for the amenities at Goat Farm Park, 2000 E. Winslow Rd., is provided by the Sherman and Meredith Rogers family. The Rogers family not only donated the original 31.5 acres of land for the park in 2007, but have contributed nearly $1 million in additional funds to the Bloomington Parks Foundation for the park’s design and amenities.

Bloomington Parks Foundation President Chris Quackenbush said, “On behalf of the Bloomington Parks Foundation, we are honored and humbled at the generosity of the Rogers family. Contributions such as this for the improvement and development of parks, in combination with Bloomington’s award-winning Parks and Recreation Department, ensure that current and future generations have access to enjoy unique park experiences, unlike those available in any other community.”

Representatives from the Rogers family, the Bloomington Parks Foundation, and the Parks and Recreation Department worked with Mader Design, a Beech Grove, Ind.-based design firm, to develop a plan for passive recreation at the Goat Farm. Parks and Recreation hosted a public meeting, collected public comment, and held an open house in 2021 to gather feedback on the proposed design. A final design was presented to the Board of Park Commissioners in November 2021.

As part of the enhancement project, the barn at the Goat Farm will receive a new roof, new vinyl siding, and new gutters. The nearby silo, and the overhead doors at the barn, will be repainted. The roof and siding work is scheduled to begin in September.

Contractors will also begin this year preparing the site for a new, accessible loop trail around the native prairie and expansion of native prairie to the south. The project includes the installation of a pedestrian boardwalk over the wet areas in the prairie, the creation of a concrete seating area under the existing barn awning, the construction of a small picnic area and shade pergola on the east side of the barn, and the addition of 14 permeable paver parking spaces on the north end to make the park more accessible to all.

According to Paula McDevitt, Administrator of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, the additions to the Goat Farm reflect the donor’s wishes to minimize development, and to maintain the park’s character as a natural space for quiet reflection.

A public art piece titled “FLEET/ing” by local artist Jonathan Racek was selected by the Bloomington Area Arts Commission for installation at the Goat Farm. The art piece, to be constructed of powder-coated steel tubes and brackets and standing 12 feet wide, 18 ½ feet long, and 10 feet high, is “nimble and quick in its simplified movement and a comment on the transient nature of life, growth and decay depicted in a gradient of colors.” The park will be rededicated as Rogers Family Park at the completion of the project in 2023.