Leaving a Legacy

There are several ways to leave a Legacy and fund large projects now or in the future at the Elkhart County Parks.

Giving for Today

Large gifts and donations can help the Elkhart County Park and Recreation Board build a stronger park system and may be tax deductible. Large gifts granted directly to the Elkhart County Park & Recreation Board can help fund immediate needs and projects such as:

  • Playground development
  • Construction of an interpretive center
  • Land acquisition
  • Repair and expansion of trail systems
  • Park facility improvement
  • Boardwalk replacement
  • New and renovated shelters
  • Programs and special events


Giving for the Future

In 2021, an Elkhart County Parks Legacy Fund was created with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. The Fund was seeded with a gift from the late Catherine Metzger, a former employee who loved nature, parks, and the environment. The gift was matched by the Community Foundation and is presently a quarter-million dollars.

The Legacy Fund will continue to grow in the future to ensure recreational, cultural, and outdoor education opportunities are met for the citizens of Elkhart County. The Elkhart County Park and Recreation Board invites further donations and bequests of any size to be added to the Elkhart County Parks Legacy Fund by visiting the Community Foundation of Elkhart County at Give Online – CFEC (inspiringgood.org) and choosing “Elkhart County Parks Legacy” as your fund of choice. Whether it is $20 or $200,000 your gift will help leave a legacy for future generations.

Donors who wish to establish additional endowment funds for perpetual sustainability of their favorite park or facility are encouraged to contact the Elkhart County Parks. There are various types of planned gifts, including those through a will or trust, life insurance beneficiary designation, charitable remainder trusts and more. We recommend that you work with your financial advisor to determine which type of gift is most appropriate for you or your family.

We also have the option of gifts and endowments to be granted through our non-profit partner, the Friends of the Elkhart County Parks.


Leaving a Landscape

Do you have a large parcel of land you would like preserved? The Elkhart County Park & Recreation Board prides itself in the conservation and preservation of natural habitat as part of its mission. We strive to keep our parks 80% natural and 20% developed. If you are considering a gift of land or real estate, please consider the following:

  • Is the land adjacent to an existing park or natural area?
  • Does the land contain wildlife habitat, forest, wetlands, prairie or river ecosystems?
  • Is the land home to a rare or endangered plant or animal? Or unique feature?
  • Would you be willing to endow the park so that it can be developed sooner?

If you wish to gift a parcel of land to the Park Board in your will, please communicate your desire with the Elkhart County Parks. Potential donations are evaluated by staff and the planning committee of the Park Board prior to the donation acceptance to ensure they meet the requirements of our mission.

If you own a small lot or a home and you still want to support the mission of the Elkhart County Parks, there is an option for the capital from the sold real estate to be used for future land acquisition. This option is another great way to help the Elkhart County Parks fulfill its mission.

If you are considering a gift to the Elkhart County Parks, we would be delighted to discuss your questions. If you have already included the Elkhart County Parks and Recreation Board in your plan, please let us know so that we can thank you. To schedule an appointment to meet with the Director about the legacy you wish to leave, please call 574-535-6458 or parksinfo@elkhartcounty.com