Man donates property value to state in son’s memory
The Department of Natural Resources bought the land for almost 25 percent less than its value from Evansville developer Roger Berg.
The parcel, bordered by the wildlife area on two sides and State Highway 213 on another, is just south of the city. The parcel is appraised at $195,000, but Berg sold it for $149,000—donating the $46,000 in property value in memory of his son, Mike.
Mike Berg, who died of a heart condition at age 25 in July 2005, loved to hunt and fish and often spent time in the Evansville Wildlife Area.
Dave O’Malley, a DNR real estate specialist, said the land addition is a good fit because it will provide more access to the area with a future parking lot off Highway 213.
Berg’s reduced price was a factor in the sale, he said.
“We may not have been able to make the purchase otherwise,” he said. “We certainly appreciate him going the extra mile to do that.”
The Evansville Wildlife Area, created in 1963, comprises 6,567 acres. Of that, 708 acres are owned by the DNR. The rest is leased.
The property is one of the largest wildlife areas in Rock County and is managed for wildlife, fishery and recreational uses such as hiking, hunting and fishing.
A large portion of the property lies within the Allen Creek Stream Bank Protection Area. Allen Creek is a Class II trout stream and one of only three trout streams in Rock County.
The Berg property will be added to the Evansville Wildlife Area for wildlife management, outdoor recreation and to provide green space just south of the city limits.
“I think it’s a win for everybody,” Berg said. “I could have gotten more money for it, but money’s not everything.”