Zionsville couple to donate $500,000 to town’s nature preserve


Zionsville residents Jim and Nancy Carpenter attended the April 10 town council meeting to make an announcement during the Carpenter Nature Preserve bond hearing.

The Carpenters, local conservationists who agreed to sell the 216-acre land (formerly Wolf Run Golf Club) for the Carpenter Nature Preserve to the town at a discounted price of $4.5 million, started the presentation by announcing a pledge to the Town of Zionsville in the amount of $500,000 for the development of the Carpenter Nature Preserve.

“Jim and I are so passionate about preserving land for generations to come, and because of that, we have decided to further support this project by making an additional gift of half a million dollars for the care and development of this special place,” Nancy Carpenter said.

The Carpenters said the Zionsville Parks Foundation would administer the gift once the town purchases the land and once it is part of the Zionsville Parks system.

The Carpenter Nature Preserve land. (Photo courtesy of Jarod Logsdon.)

“We feel grateful to be part of this wonderful opportunity, and we wish to thank you,” Nancy said.

Jim Carpenter said the couple’s mission is to bring people and nature together.

“When me and Nancy visited the nature preserve area, it was clear to us that there is never going to be anything like this available again anywhere near Zionsville,” he said. “So, we protected it.”

John Stehr, a Republican mayoral candidate and president of the Zionsville Board of Parks and Recreation, said the pledge will benefit the town for generations to come.

“The Carpenters have been incredibly patient,” Stehr said.  “They’ve been paying the insurance, maintenance of the land, and the taxes, and they’ve been willing to do it. That’s what good citizens do.”

Before voting at the town council meeting on first reading of the Carpenter Nature Preserve bond, not to exceed $5.5 million, Jarod Logsdon, superintendent of the Zionsville Parks and Recreation, presented a comprehensive overview of the history of the nature preserve, including where the park is today and where the park can be in the future upon consideration of the bond for the acquisition and development of the nature preserve.

“We’ve excited the community with this opportunity,” Logsdon said.

The vote consideration on the bond was 6-1 in favor. The second reading and final approval will be at the May 1 town council meeting.

The nature preserve is expected to open in 2026.