VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County Parks Department is working hard on a property south of Terre Haute.
Workers are trying to turn it into a new park. News 10 was able to get an exclusive look at the future park and spoke with a former parks employee with a special connection to the land.
When Pfizer left the area south of Terre Haute it also left a large area of forested land. Former parks superintendent Keith Ruble says he knew the land was an opportunity immediately.
"I did forestry improvement work here for the Pfizer company and when I did that I found out they were going to be leaving town and when I found that out I thought this green belt would be really beneficial to the county," Keith Ruble says.
News 10 asked ruble what made the stretch of land special enough to be Vigo County's newest park.
"It's wild. It's got a lot of unique plants and of course, prairie and a lot of different types of wildlife live here and it's just a place where people can enjoy the wild by walking the trails" Ruble says.
Current Vigo County park officials say they want to retain the area's "wild" atmosphere ruble thinks is so special.
"Right now we are hovering at a little over 8 miles of trail and eight hundred and 22 acres. A portion of the property to the west will be really nice rolling hills and landscape. We've got a couple ponds on the property and we are going more of a natural trail. Vigo County parks property has more rock trail and we want to get people off that beaten path a little bit more" Adam Grossman with the Vigo County Parks Department says.
The park south of town is still a couple years away from opening to the public. The new park will be named "Ruble park" immortalizing Keith's efforts to secure the land for Vigo County.
"It's kind of funny because I thought when something is named after somebody they're dead and here I am still alive and it is rewarding that the county would recognize me for this but if it wasn't for the Pfizer thing and local people this wouldn't have happened," Ruble says.
Vigo County Park officials tell News 10 they are planning on opening the land to the public in 2020 and they say there is still a large amount of work to be done on the land before it can be made a park.