Operations of the Sodalis Nature Park transitioned from Hendricks County Parks to the Town of Plainfield on May 1, 2019. Sodalis Nature Park, which is named after the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis Sodalis), features over 3.5 miles of nature trails, picnic areas and a 5.5-acre pond. Hendricks County Parks developed the park in 2010 under a lease arrangement with the Indianapolis International Airport (IAA). The Town of Plainfield purchased the park land as part of a larger 1,800 acre acquisition of land from the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in 2018.
Recently, the County and the Town negotiated a termination of the lease and began transitioning operations to the Town. As part of the deal, the Town paid the County for the value of the improvements that the County had put into the park over the years, including features like a park shelter, wildlife viewing platform, and fishing pier on the lake. The County will dedicate the funds to the development and construction of the new W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park.
“We are confident that the Town of Plainfield will successfully manage and expand Sodalis Nature Park, a unique natural area within which everyone can learn and recreate. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to the overall success of Park and Recreation Departments throughout Hendricks County," Hendricks County Parks Superintendent, Ryan Lemley said.
The Town of Plainfield is excited to partner with the County for continued programming in the park. Plainfield is also working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to conserve the land for the betterment of the endangered Indiana bats.
“Our long-term vision for this land is to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the Sodalis Nature Park and provide additional recreational use by creating a larger regional park. We hope it can also be an opportunity to educate people about endangered species in Indiana and the methods for protecting them,” said Robin Brandgard, the Town of Plainfield Town Council President.