Communities’ level of quality of life for residents and visitors often is measured by the quality and quantity of recreational amenities offered. Frankfort is home to six City parks, each offering a unique blend of enjoyable activities for the whole family. From TPA Park’s Olympic-size swimming pool and famous petting zoo, to horseshoe pits in Dorner’s Park and Lawrence Ferrell Park’s (East Side Park) 14-acres including an open area for model airplane flying, to lighted baseball diamonds at Luther Howe Park (Green Street Park) and John Redmond Park (Third Street Park) to playground equipment at Circle Park, there’s so much to enjoy!
Frankfort City Parks
The largest of Frankfort’s parks, TPA Park is home to a variety of recreational amenities. TPA Park’s shelters can be reserved for picnics and family reunions. Use of the large shelter is $100. Use of shelters 1-2 is $40 and 3-5 is $60 each. Renting a set of four tables is $20. Reservations for shelter and picnic table rentals can be made by calling the TPA Park office at 659-3422.
In addition to the pool and shelter houses, TPA Park also offers lighted baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, picnic facilities, and our famous petting zoo. The zoo, home to peacocks, goats, pigs, llama, donkeys, ducks, chicken, sheep, partridge, and pheasants, is loved by residents and visitors alike.
Be sure to visit the historic cabin for a look into the life of a pioneer family and don’t miss the Park’s well-known holiday light display.
The TPA pool is currently under renovation and will not open during the 2020 summer season.
Dorner’s Park at 858 South Clay Street, is another great recreational facility in our community. Filled with playground equipment, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts, and tennis courts, Dorner’s Park also has a tree species identification area.
After years of kids running through his house and needing a place to play, George Dorner used his privately owned farmland to start the Park in 1941, dedicating it to his wife, Pearl. That same year, Purdue helped with exotic flowerbeds. In 1950, the arboretum was dedicated, with construction starting in the 1960s with the help of Bob Ness. The construction included a gazebo that Dorner’s granddaughter, Nancy and her brothers and cousins built on an existing cement pad. Dorner used to keep a pigeon coop there.
An original bike track surrounding the park grounds was moved to Alhambra Avenue. Prior to passing away in 1950, Dorner willed the land to his daughter who then willed it to her daughter, Nancy. Eventually, the land was sold to the City, with officials constructing north horseshoe courts between 1951 and 1953 and south horseshoe courts in the 1960s. The pits were later dedicated to Curtis Day in the early 1970s, shortly after his induction into the National Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame as a national horseshoe champion, including an 18-time Indiana state champion and a three-time world winner.
Although not an official part of the Frankfort park system, the City’s lagoons are managed by the Frankfort Utility Service Board. The lagoons offer nature at its best — a variety of fishing, bird, and nature watching opportunities and shelter picnic areas.
Lawrence Ferrell Park
Also known as East Side Park. Near Fudge Avenue and North Maish Road, Lawrence Ferrell Park boasts 14 acres and includes playground equipment, baseball diamond and an open area for model airplane flying.
Larry Ferrell was born Aug. 9, 1894, and died September 1, 1970. He was park superintendent in the 1960s with this Park commemorated in his honor. Ferrell taught Latin at Frankfort High School in 1960 and served as assistant basketball coach. With clay tennis courts, Ferrell, according to sources, was very particular about keeping the courts in good condition, throwing kids and their bikes out of the Park for even the smallest violations.
Luther Howe Park
Also known as Green Street Park. Located at 1600 West Green Street, this Park has fun playground equipment and a lighted baseball diamond.
Luther Howe was born May 6, 1911, died in1977 and is buried in Bunnell Cemetery. A retired railway clerk for Norfolk & Western Railway, Howe donated the land for this park.
The Green Street shelter can be reserved for picnics and family reunions at a cost of $40. Reservations for the shelter can be made by calling the TPA Park office at 659-3422.
This smaller park at 1355 West Kyger Street has enjoyable playground equipment. The Circle Park shelter can be reserved for picnics and family reunions at a cost of $40. Reservations for the shelter can be made by calling the TPA Park office at 659-3422.
John Redmon Park
Also known as Third Street Park. Found at 1080 South Third Street, this park provides playground equipment and a lighted baseball diamond.
He was an All-American football player at Indiana University. He received the French Medal of Honor, the Croix de Guerre, in recognition of his service with the United States Army. John Redmon was an assistant football coach at Frankfort High School in the early 1930s. He became the Kyger School principal in 1933. He married Martha Finney later in life and had no children. A WWII veteran, Redmon passed away on December 17, 1949.
Found at 259 South Third Street, this facility is managed by the Frankfort Parks Department. Anyone wishing to reserve the facility should contact the Parks Department at (765) 659-3422. Rental fees are $75 for the first 3 hours and $20 for each additional hour after that. The Neighborhood Center is available to rent during the week and on weekends.
Special thanks to Shaina Shirar for her work in compiling the historical information on Frankfort’s parks.