FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- The group “Friends of Ouabache State Park” has launched a GoFundMe campaign in an effort to save a local landmark.
The Fire Tower in Ouabache State Park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Core.
The Department of Natural Resources, Engineering Division, closed access to the top of the tower following an inspection in April 2015.
Inspectors determined that the steps were rotting, metal supports were rusting, and the structure was in desperate need of new handrails and treads. Restoring the tower would cost an estimated $75,000 dollars.
Until the park comes up with the money to fix it, park goers won’t be able to make that journey to the top.
According to Teresa Rody, a Spokesperson for Ouabache State Park, climbing to the top of the tower is like a right of passage… and it some cases a family tradition.
“A lot of people have been coming here since they were kids,” she said. “Now [they’re] bringing grandkids.”
The 100 foot tall tower is probably best viewpoint in the entire park.
“[You can] look out towards the town of Bluffton that’s nearby and observe the bison that are on the property from up in the fire tower,” said Rody. “It’s just a neat experience.”
As of Wednesday evening, the fundraising campaign has raised $135 dollars in donations. Rody is confident with the community’s help, they can get reach their goal.
“There’s so many people in the community that have been willing to put containers in their in their different towns around here to help collect funds,” she said. “It’s really neat to see people get behind an effort like this to restore access to such a neat feature.”
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