New body of water planned for the city’s sensory trail | New


GOSHEN – A new water feature will soon be added to the recently dedicated Ashley VanVurst City Sensory Trail following action by the Goshen Public Works and Safety Council on Monday afternoon.

At the meeting, the board members approved a contract not exceeding $ 24,000 with Aquascapes Consulting LLC for on-site consulting services related to the construction of a new water feature for the Sensory Trail of the Goshen Rieth Interpretive Center, 410 W. Plymouth Ave.

According to Theresa Sailor, project manager for the trail, the plan is to have Aquascapes consult for the overall design and appearance of the project, while staff from the Goshen Parks and Recreation Department will do the construction work in-house. .

Regarding the proposed water feature, Sailor noted that the plan includes the construction of additional gutters on the roof of the Rieth Interpretation Center that will be able to capture rainwater and feed it into a trough system. and rain chains that will eventually deposit the water in a shallow pond-like body of water on the side of the building.

“Aquascapes actually does rain harvesting, which we do here,” Sailor told the board. “We collect this rainwater, and then it will sort of run to the bottom of the pond. “

Sailor described the new body of water as being shallow, filled with small boulders, with larger boulders lining the sides that will help direct the water as it flows over the small boulders. A set of pumps at the bottom of the element will then recirculate the water up the building, creating a cascade of water that is still moving towards the water element.

“It will be moving continuously all the time,” Sailor said of the water. “So when you go to visit, it will be moving water. … So it will capture whatever falls on it, but it will also capture from the office where we attach this extended gutter, and we will put water in it.

Sailor said the idea behind the recirculation system is that there should be no need to physically add water to the system unless the city has an extended dry spell.

“It’s a biofiltration system, so there are no chemicals,” Sailor said. “It means wildlife can drink it. You can play in it. If you have kids, they can take their shoes off, or not, and get in there and rearrange the rocks. It is very good.

“The point was you should be able to touch the water, because we have some great streams along the trail, but we don’t have anything where you can actually touch the water,” she added. . “And then, of course, you can just sit down and listen to it. So it was going to be for mental health. This was one of the things that ADEC points out as one of the most important things we can do for people with disabilities, and help improve mental health, would be to have the sound of water.

As for the timing of the project, Sailor said, barring any unforeseen issues, the plan is to complete the new water feature before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The requested contract was approved unanimously.


The Ashley VanVurst Sensory Trail opened in September at Abshire Park, 1302 E. Lincoln Ave., Goshen.

The trail is a collaborative effort between the city and Bristol-based ADEC Inc., a local non-profit organization that advocates and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

Plans for the new trail were first announced in January to help connect people with disabilities to nature’s health benefits through the development of a new sensory trail. Such trails are designed to provide a series of experiences along a route designed for users to interact with their different senses. Varied surfaces and stations harboring different smells and sounds are often characteristic of sensory trails.

To fund the project, the city joined with ADEC in applying for a $ 200,000 grant for community connections for people with disabilities, which is offered through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. in partnership with the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Services.

An app that the public can use while navigating the trail is currently in development. For more information, visit


In other matters, the members of the council approved:

• Promotion of Travis Peak to Fire Captain with the Goshen Fire Department starting Monday.

• Promotion of Matthew Dunithan to the rank of Fire Lieutenant for the Goshen Fire Department effective Monday.

• Promotion of Camden Bontrager to the rank of fire sergeant for the Goshen Fire Department effective Monday.

• A $ 3,600 contract with Chad Cripe to paint the walls and woodwork of the lower part of Goshen Town Hall.

• A $ 9,609 contract with Newbury Square Construction LLC to install a new steel roof over the existing shingled roof at Violett Cemetery, 2818 Violett Road, which was damaged by hail.

• A $ 28,000 contract with Donohue & Associates Inc. for the city lift station cellular telemetry upgrade project.

• A grant agreement with Indiana Public Employers’ Plan Inc. for the purchase of a drone for the Goshen Fire Department. As an 80/20 grant, the total purchase price of the drone is $ 7,273, with the city responsible for 20% of the cost, or $ 1,454.

• A contract of up to $ 165,720 with Peerless-Midwest Inc. for the cleaning and maintenance of municipal wells 1A, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6A.

• A conditional job offer to Anthony Reese as a probationary patrol officer with the Goshen Police Department. Confirmation of employment will take place once a position becomes available in the ministry.