Carpenter Nature Preserve

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Carpenter Nature Preserve

The Carpenter Nature Preserve (land that was formerly Wolf Run Golf Course) is a 215-acre nature preserve proposed by the Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department as a town and regional destination for:

  • A new Nature Center
  • Walking trails
  • Boardwalks
  • Nature-inspired playground
  • Outdoor classrooms
  • Eagle Creek overlooks
  • Enhanced wetlands, woodlands and prairies

The nature preserve will enhance existing wildlife habitats, and provide for viewing these habitats while teaching visitors of all ages about the natural environment they are visiting. 

The existing property is owned by private citizens. The master plan envisions a Town-owned park, operated and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department with several phases of development.


In the summer of 2020, Mayor Emily Styron joined Deputy Mayor Julie Johns-Cole to tour the 200+ acres formerly known as Wolf Run Golf Club. Mayor Emily Styron later contacted two Zionsville residents with a love for nature – Jim and Nancy Carpenter – and together came up with a vision for the property. With input from the community, we completed a master plan for this property. The Town of Zionsville is now working with the Carpenters to bring that vision to life with the goal of someday seeing the Carpenter Nature Preserve become a park and nature sanctuary for Zionsville. 

View the Carpenter Nature Preserve Master Plan here.

What's Been Done?

Now that we have completed the Carpenter Nature Preserve Master Plan, the Parks and Recreation Department is working to raise funds for the acquisition of the property and construction of the Carpenter Nature Preserve. The proposed master plan will be developed over multiple phases as funding becomes available.

During the February 9, 2023 Park Board meeting, there was a public hearing for the Carpenter Nature Preserve. The board passed several resolutions related to Carpenter Nature Preserve bonds.

During the May 1, 2023 Town Council meeting, members voted 6-1 in favor of the Carpenter Nature bond.

What's Next

Contingent on the bonding process, the preliminary plan is for the Carpenter Nature Preserve to open in late 2025 or early 2026.

Read the FAQs for more information about grants we have been awarded and how we are raising funds.

The Carpenter Nature Preserve Legacy

Carpenter Nature Preserve can be the...

  • The first park in Union Township
  • The largest preserve in Boone County
  • The capstone to Zionsville Parks history 
Nancy at the Carpenter Nature Preserve