One of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's top priorities after taking office nearly 12 years ago was to revitalize the city's riverfront along Riverside Drive. During that time frame, several projects have taken place to beautify the area to make it more inviting for organizations looking to host events, and for residents to go for entertainment or a leisurely stroll when the weather cooperates. Despite the fact Mayor Winnecke will be leaving office at the end of the year after deciding not to run for a fourth term, plans for more improvements continue moving forward which includes a renewal plan for Sunset Park. A plan officials behind the project hope you'll help make a reality.

What's Planned for the Renewal of Sunset Park

If you're a longtime, or like me a lifetime, resident of Evansville, you may be thinking, "Wait a minute? Didn't they tear down Sunset Park to build the new water pump station and skate park?" Yes, they did — kind of. That park, which featured a few tennis courts, was Sunset Park West. This plan is for Sunset Park East across the street.

The park sits at the intersection of Riverside and Shawnee Drives and while it's not in bad shape by any means, there's not much to it. It's pretty boring honestly. With the exception of one small playground and a swing set, it simply looks like a yard residents who live in the homes along Sunset Avenue share.

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The goal of the Evansville Parks & Recreation Department's Renewal Plan is to give the park a facelift that will make it yet another space all residents, not just those who live downtown, can go and enjoy the outdoors.

The plan includes the addition of a one-third mile walking path around the entire perimeter of the park that is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant so everyone can use it regardless of physical ability, a nature playscape, a shelter house, park benches (I only saw one by the playground when I stopped by to take some pictures), and "pollinator beds" where various flowers will be planted that will attract birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects beneficial to the environment.

How You Can Donate to the Sunset Park Renewal Plan

Some of the funding has been provided by donations from corporate sponsors including The Welborn Baptist Foundation which is helping fund the walking path. As much as that funding helps, more is needed. The Parks Department has set up a crowdfunding page where you can make a secure, online donation in whatever amount you're willing to give. The Department has set a goal of $25,000 for the project and says if they reach that goal, donations will be matched by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority through the CreatINg Places grant program. As of this writing, the total sits at $20,000, so every little bit will help.

If you'd like to make a donation, click here.

[Sources: Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer on Facebook / Patronicity]

State Parks Near the Tri-State You Have to Check Out

As the weather warms up, all I want to do is be outside. We've got several state parks around the Tri-State area, they'd be perfect for a day trip or a camping weekend!

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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