Friends of Rea Park, Inc. has several rationale in mind when it comes to fully developing Rea Park. These include:
We wish to honor the William S. Rea family by ensuring the contract to maintain and beautify the park is upheld by the City of Terre Haute.
If properly developed, Rea Park can help Terre Haute develop a competitive workforce by boosting the health of its' citizens (clear minds and bodies). Terre Haute ranked 91st out of 92 Indiana counties in a 2016 www.countyhealthrankings.org study when considering alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, as well as the obesity levels of our population. This could be why we are having difficulty attracting major industry to our city.
Rea Park should establish close relationships with nearby TH South High, other south-side schools, Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Westminster Village, and the TH Parks Department. There should be an effort to fully utilize park facilities and existing lands to promote the overall health of Terre Hautians - children through senior adults.
Over time, Rea Park should have its' clubhouse, tennis courts and driving range renovated, as well as the possibility of adding a fitness center, new pickle ball courts, walking and running trails, and an area for family activities within Rea's boundaries.
Wabash Valley public officials should look to repair recreational facilities we already have, honoring existing commitments before bringing new capital projects of similar purpose on board.
The total cost of renovating Rea Park is reasonable, especially compared to other projects currently being discussed by Wabash Valley governing bodies. Total renovation of the park is likely no more than half of what was invested in the new aquatic center located in Voorhees Park. Its' cost is a fraction of big ticket items such as Hulman Center, the county jail, city police station, Riverscape, and downtown convention center.
It will likely take a mix of public and private funding to complete the park's renovation - tax dollars, governmental and private foundation grants, private donations, as well as private investment in the park.
The TH Parks Board and local Indiana Landmarks representative Tommy Kleckner worked to develop an application for Rea Park to be placed on the U.S. Department of Interior's national register of historic places. Their efforts were successful. Now, we must do all we can to renew the park. It is part of Terre Haute's and our nation's heritage.