Prairie Creek in Delaware County IN has accessible beach, new bathouse

Reservoir has one of a kind access for those with disability

By Rick Yencer

SELMA, INDIANA (NEWS)  - A recreational attraction like none other in the Midwest was dedicated Wednesday at Prairie Creek Reservoir.

A new beach accessible to those with disability and a new bathhouse for all was unveiled by Mayor Dennis Tyler and his administration recognizing the community effort than funded and built the facility,

:"This is a great day for Muncie," said the mayor, recalling how the old bathhouse had to be condemned two years ago and a plan developed to build something new.

Tyler brought together the community like foundations representing Ball Brothers, George and Frances Ball and Community, to help fund the project along with local labor from 3D, Sater Electric and Pridemark to build bathhouse.

Crews were on the scene Wednesday still working on the beach and path so people who use mobility devices can go to the water and get in.

Tyler has been a leader in making public access for those with disability a priority, like finishing downtown sidewalks and streets and also encouraging a statewide disability group to partner with Courtyard by Marriott to build a new hotel downtown that will be a training facility for those with disability.

Ron Bonham, former Prairie Creek superintendent, and a Mr. Basketball in Indiana more than a half century ago, was at the ceremony and said the new bathhouse was a great improvement, recalling the years he had to do repair after repair to keep it running. His wife, J.J., who also worked there thought the improvement was fantastic and believed thousands would flock to beach.

Ivan Gregory, current Prairie Creek superintendent, said the surrounding park also had new cabins that could be rented besides the campground that was full for Memorial Day weekend.

He anticipated a big crowd and was glad the bathhouse was ready, especially with the Ironman Triathlon coming in July,

Prairie Creek always has been home to Muncie Sailboat Club and hundreds of pontoon owners, including the mayor, who prefer to spend time around home instead of the lakes of northern Indiana and Michigan.

The city has managed the grounds around Prairie Creek as a lake for the last half century while Indiana American Water Co. controls the water that is a reserve for Muncie water.