*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.
As we continue to discover various parks and recreation areas, look no further than our backyard in Evansville. Most Evansville and Tri-State residents have heard of and spent time at Burdette Park. It is a staple attraction on Evansville’s West Side for outdoor activities in all year round with an aquatic center, shelters, BMX track, and chalets.
Burdette Park has an interesting history in Evansville. The park’s origin is unknown; however, the naming of park was in memory of a local solider, Everette Burdette, from Evansville, who died in combat during World War 1. Burdette received their charter in 1921. By 1935, Burdette Park hosted between three to four thousand guests a week; however, it did not become a public park until 1936. By the 1950’s, Burdette was on the verge of shutting down until Vanderburgh County Commissioner, Charles Ellspermann, stabilized the managerial position at Burdette by hiring Francis DeVoy in 1961 (Burdette Park: Our History, 2017).
There is no cost to enter the park; however, as previously mentioned, Burdette has an aquatic center, shelters, BMX track, and chalets. One of newest features of the park is the USI-Burdette Trail. Completed in 2012, a three mile paved trail connects Burdette Park and the University of Southern Indiana allowing for “… hikers, bicyclists, and runner” to experience the beauty of Southwestern Indiana.
Burdette Park: Our History (2017). Retrieved from http://www.evansville.in.gov/index.aspx?page=3551
University of Southern Indiana (2017). USI trails. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/trails/