Learn about the beginning of Indiana’s system of state parks and the
role an Indianapolis businessman played in their development in a new
documentary available online.
“Origins,” a 42-minute film, portrays the story of Richard Lieber, a
German immigrant and early conservationist who spearheaded efforts to
develop Indiana state parks more than 100 years ago. The film also tells
how Lieber overcame disappointment after a failed first attempt to
purchase the land that became Turkey Run State Park.
“It reminds us that sometimes our biggest successes come when we don’t
give up after failure,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director of Indiana
Storyteller Bob Sander developed the film and narrates it.
Sander wrote “Origins” in 2016 with funding from an Arts in the Parks
grant through the Indiana Arts Commission as part of the Indiana State
Parks 2016 Centennial Celebration. Originally, Sander presented
“Origins” live and in-person to state parks visitors.
In 2017, Sander received a grant to convert “Origins” to a digital
presentation that could be shared through electronic media and used in
state park interpretive centers.
A link to the “Origins” video is at StateParks.IN.gov/2410.htm.
Indiana’s first state park, McCormick’s Creek, opened on July 4, 1916,
followed by Turkey Run later that year. The system has since grown to 32
See a calendar of arts events in Indiana state parks at
Learn about grant opportunities through the Indiana Arts Commission at