— Congratulations to the new France Park superintendent on the work he has done to transform the park.
Lucas Beach, a 2005 graduate of Pioneer Junior-Senior High School, spent about three months as the park’s assistant superintendent soon after completing a parks and recreation degree at Huntington College in 2010. Beach has been the superintendent since July when the county council and commissioners joined to eliminate the park board and fire the former superintendent.
It was a controversial start, but Beach has steered clear of the politics and has focused instead on helping the park to realize its potential.
He came armed with lots of ideas for transforming the facility, and he hasn’t wasted time in pursuing his vision.
Beach and his staff ripped up the park’s miniature golf course so that they could refurbish it with a new color scheme and concrete.
They also added two miles of trails designed specifically for mountain bikes and they plan to mark all of the trails with metal signs that should be harder to tear down.
They’re also working to make the water a focal point. They’ve been clearing out trees to create the upper-beach area, and they also plan to add volleyball courts.
And Beach promises much more in the spring.
He plans to host bluegrass, blues and country bands at the park, and he also plans to host a countywide yard sale.
It’s been a busy time, but Beach and the staff have not been alone in their efforts. They have recruited campers to help out, giving them a chance to work off their camping fees by volunteering at the park.
France Park has long been a diamond in the rough, as Commissioner Dave Arnold describes it. It has been one of the county’s greatest assets, and one that many residents don’t even know exists.
Beach clearly aims to change that by adding activities and events to draw visitors from Cass and surrounding counties.
He and his staff are off to a great start, and we wish them well in their continued efforts.
Beach promises some surprises next spring and summer. We look forward to learning more about his plans.