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Page last updated on August 4, 2023 at 11:15 am

The 31.5-acre Goat Farm property was donated to the Bloomington Parks Foundation by the Sherman Rogers family in 2007 with the provision that it be used for publicly accessible recreation and greenspace. The park is home to a barn and silo and a five-acre restored native prairie. The Jackson Creek Trail runs along the eastern edge of the park, connecting the High St multi-use path to the north with Sherwood Oaks Park and Olcott Park to the south (a southern extension to the trail will be constructed in late 2022).

Rogers Family Park Dedication - August 2023

The Parks and Recreation Department hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting in August 2023 to celebrate the completion of the Rogers Family Park project (formerly known as Goat Farm Park). The improvements to the park, including new walking paths and boardwalks, a permeable paver parking lot, new seating areas, and exterior improvements to the barn were all made possible by a generous donation from the Sherman and Meredith Rogers Family. The donation also commissioned a new piece of public art by Jonathan Racek titled 'FLEET/ing', which has been installed near the barn. 

2022 Improvements – Rogers Family Park project

In addition to donating the property, the Rogers Family donated an additional $1 million dollars in 2021 and 2022 to fund improvements to the park. The Parks and Recreation Department worked with Mader Design to design improvements to the park that align with the park’s original purpose of providing publicly accessible recreation and greenspace. About a dozen people attended a public meeting in April 2021 to provide feedback on preliminary design concepts, and in November 2021 the final design concepts were presented at an open house at the park. In August 2022, a construction contract totaling $643,460 was awarded to Scenic Construction Services at the Board of Park Commissioners Meeting. Construction will take place from fall 2022 to spring 2023. Additionally, a separate $110,000 contract was awarded to make exterior repairs to the barn and silo, including new roof, siding, soffit, and gutters. At the completion of construction in spring 2023, the park will be rededicated as Rogers Family Park. The project will include:

  • As part of the overall goal of preserving the park as passive, natural space, no overhead or parking lot lighting will be installed.
  • The creation of a 10-spot permeable paver parking lot on the north end of the park, accessible from the Winslow-High-Rogers roundabout to increase public access to the park.
  • A more than five-acre expansion of the native prairie to the south. This will require mowing and killing existing vegetation, which includes invasive species, to reestablish native plants through reseeding.
  • Barn and silo exterior improvements.
  • The creation of a new paved trail from the parking lot that will extend south through the prairie, traveling through a central greenspace area that will include highlighted native plantings. Trail improvements will also include a new boardwalk on the southwestern side of the park and a connection on the northeastern side of the park to complete a loop trail.
  • Additional seating areas, including under a new picnic shelter and trellis and under an improved eastern eave of the barn.
  • The installation of a new public art sculpture near the barn by local artist Jonathan Racek titled “FLEET/ing.”

Native Prairie & Ecological Preservation

In 2016, the Bloomington Environmental Commission asked the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department to consider creating a native prairie planting at one of its properties. A prairie that includes a diversity of plant species is beneficial to pollinators, or animals that move pollen from one part of the flower of a plant to another part. Common pollinator species include bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, spiders, flies, and wasps.

In 2017, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the first five-acre section of native prairie replaced a field of fescue on the north end of the property. Since then, the prairie has been managed through the removal of woody plants and invasive species and periodic mowing. A five-acre expansion of the native prairie is planned as part of the Rogers Family Park improvement project in 2022.

In addition to the native prairie, the park provides multiple benefits for wildlife. Chimney Swift and Bluebird boxes provide nesting habitat, and prairie plants help strain flood debris and improve water quality in Jackson Creek. The Parks and Recreation Department also uses best management practices to maintain the protective vegetation on the banks of Jackson Creek, which runs along the eastern edge of the property.