Daubenspeck Community Nature Park is a rare, green-space haven of approximately 22 acres at 8900 Ditch Road in Nora. The park is approximately 22 acres and consists of a 14-acre tall -grass prairie, 1 acre of emergent wetlands, 7 acres of forested riparian habitat.
You’ll be welcomed by mowed grass trails, benches to rest, peaceful woods, open prairie, bridges and boardwalks to traverse the creek and wetlands. There is a parking area to leave your car, an observation deck, and more. The features here are designed to help you get closer to nature and enjoy your visit, without disturbing the habitat.
The park is named after a local a farmer named Peter Daubenspeck who owned a lot of land near West 86th Street and Ditch Road in Indianapolis. While he sold parts of his farm which became neighborhoods like North Willow Farms, Mr. Daubenspeck decided to set aside the plot at 8900 Ditch for the benefit of the public, and gave it to the schools.
Since the student enrollment in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township had been relatively stable since the mid 1990’s, and the 15 acre field was too small to build a new school, the MSDWT considered selling the land for development. But the taxpayers of Washington Township cried out to save the land as one of the very rare remaining green spaces left in that township.
In 2005, the MSDWT School Board decided not to sell the land, and the neighborhoods and community formed an IRS 501-c-3 charitable non-profit
organization to manage it as a nature park. The organization maintains a rich website with tons of great information about the park and natural features, as well as transparency in its organizational documents.
It’s free and open to the public year round, dawn to dusk.
DCNP Inc. is a charitable, non-profit
(IRS 501-C-3) funded by individual donations,
corporate support, and grants. Donations are
Photo credit: Daubpark website