State adding 180 acres to Lincoln State Park




By Jesse Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS – Lincoln State Park in Southern Indiana will be expanding its total size by 180 acres thanks to the Bicentennial Nature Trust.

A dedication including Gov. Mike Pence will take place Wednesday at the park. The celebration will include a mile long hike called “Walk A Mile With Mike” in which participants will walk and talk with the governor.

“Abraham Lincoln spent his formative years right here in Spencer County,” Pence said in a statement. “Reflecting on his monumental contributions to our state and nation, I think it’s a fitting tribute that we set aside this land he knew as a boy in honor of our state’s Bicentennial Celebration.”

The park – already 1,747 acres – will gain land both to the west and south of the park as well as adding a mile of new hiking trails.

“This addition to Lincoln State Park underlines the 2016 Bicentennial Commission’s commitment to nature conservation in Indiana,” said former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.

Skillman and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton are the co-chairs of the Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the Bicentennial Nature Trust.

First lady Karen Pence is the ambassador to the commission.

“We look forward to hearing and celebrating many more success stories for the Bicentennial Nature Trust in the months and years to come,” Hamilton said.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels launched the Bicentennial Nature Trust using $20 million in state funds and $10 million from the Lilly Endowment. The goal is to expand trails, conservation areas and recreation sites.

So far, the commission has approved 59 projects and 19 have been completed for a total of 2,591 acres.

Jesse Wilson is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.