"I was shocked by it, but I knew he meant it when he said it." Gibson County Commissioner Steve Bottoms helped start a parks board to handle the project and will be looking for grants and donations from foundations to help pay for upkeep and features on the park.
With a blank slate of land the possibilities are endless. "We plan on getting a lot of help from people like Purdue. We do have a Purdue extension agent here and we've talked to Purdue about providing engineers and architects," said Bottoms.
Richard and Gwen Hopkins have been touring the state looking at parks trying to brainstorm on what to do with such a large portion of land. Gwen mentioned biking trails, basketball courts, lakes, bell towers, and gardens, just to name a few. Which could make this park like none other in the area. "There are other parks, fine parks in Gibson County, but none of this size and none that will have this kind of options of doing different things," said Bottoms.
Gwen says there is no interest from other family members to continue farming. Even still prime farmland could be sold for a very pretty penny, but the Hopkins family decided to give it all away instead. "To give back to Gibson County which they feel has been so good to them," said Bottoms.
The land will no longer be known as the Hopkins Family Farm as it has for the last century and a half, but with there generous donation is this land will still be graced with the Hopkins family name.
Bottoms says he hopes to see some physical progress on the property by this fall.