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Providing for a Healthier You
Schererville’s Parks & Recreation Department renovates
and expands facilities to better serve residents
The mission statement of the Schererville Parks &
Recreation Department is to offer town residents “a
dedicated team committed to serving the citizens of
Schererville by fostering community unity and wellness
through the provision of quality parks and programs.”
To John Novacich, Superintendent of Parks, it’s more than
an eloquent phrase. It’s a labor of love for employees,
volunteers, and the community. This year, that labor of
love will feature a total renovation of the town’s softball/
baseball complex and the addition of the next two phases
of the Pennsy Greenway Trail.
“We work hard every year to help make all of our parks
user friendly and exciting,” Novacich says. “We want to
offer something for everyone, so that our residents and
visitors can find healthy family activities that they enjoy.”
Town officials approved an extensive renovation of the
softball/baseball complex at Rohrman Park. The work
will include a new concessions building, complete with
restrooms. “The concessions stand construction is
underway,” Novacich says. “They’ve started in the fall and
have been working over the winter as weather permits.”
In addition to the concession stand and restroom
complex, the renovation will include the replacement of
fencing around the ball fields, including new backstops on
all fields. “The current fencing and backstops were built in
the 1990’s,” Novacich says. “It’s time for newer and safer
fencing to help players and fans.” New sports lighting,
scoreboards, drainage and utility upgrades also are part of
the project.

the first coast-to-coast, nonmotorized trail. The American
Discovery Trail will provide users the opportunity to
journey into the heart of American culture, heritage,
landscape and spirit.
“Schererville residents should take a lot of pride in being
part of this effort,” Novacich says. “Not every community
is fortunate enough to be awarded the amount of funding
we received. The trail will come right through Indiana and
link to current trails in Illinois.”
From its beginning back in 1989, the Parks & Recreation
department has strived to meet the needs of the
community and its residents. Parks & Rec operates and
manages more than 260 acres in 28 parks, including
playgrounds, sports fields and courts, picnic shelters,
paved trails, and a wonderful community center. It has
grown from its initial offerings of summer youth programs
to providing a variety of recreational and leisure activities
throughout the year.
Today, it is proud to offer programs for the entire family
and all age groups, ranging from early childhood to senior
activities. In addition to the numerous programs found on
its website,, the department sponsors and conducts
many special and annual events for the community. The
department will continue to provide the benefits of quality
leisure experiences and facilities for the public to enjoy.
The benefits are timeless and endless.

The ball fields also will get a makeover. The largest of
the four will have the grass removed from the infield,
creating a skinned infield that can be used for softball and
baseball. “We have a growing softball community here in
Schererville,” Novacich says. “It’s important for us to make
every effort possible to provide quality fields and keep our
teams playing here in a great environment.”
During spring and summer, girls softball will be played at
other town parks that have fields. It is anticipated that the
new complex at Rohrman will be ready for fall leagues.
“Everyone has been very understanding about moving
around this season,” Novacich says. “It’s a challenge
logistically, but the end result will be worth it.”
Another major labor of love will be the next two phases
of the Pennsy Greenway trail. Phase I was paving from
Wilhelm Street to Rohrman Park, creating about two miles
of smooth trail for bicycles, skates, joggers, and walkers.
It offers benches and bike racks along the 28-acres of trail
The Indiana Department of Transportation “will put both
Phases II and III out for bid in March,” Novacich says. “The
two phases are about 3.45 miles total and will extend the
trail from Main Street to 213th, and then from under the
Highway 41 (Indianapolis Boulevard) bridge back to the
Schererville Police Department.”
Officials have been working on portions of the trails that
run through town and unincorporated Lake County for 20
years. Novacich has been writing grant requests, with the
town receiving more than $5 million in federal funding for
trail development. It recently collaborated with the Lake
County Park Board to submit a joint application for the
development of Phase IV through the Next Level Trails
grant program. Construction of that phase will complete
Schererville’s portion of the trail to the east ending at
Clark Street.
“This segment of the Pennsy Greenway Trail is part
of the American Discovery Trail that runs coast to
coast,” Novacich says. “There’s a lot of significance for
Schererville and Northwest Indiana.”
The American Discovery Trail is a new breed of national
trail — part city, part small town, part forest, part
mountains, part desert — in one trail. Its more than
6,800 miles of continuous, multiuse trail will stretch from
Delaware to California. It links community to community in


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