The Bruinsma Family | Strawtown Koteewi Park |

I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Troy and Rosalyn Bruinsma and their amazing kiddos—Tucker and Grace! They were first time clients and this session was for the magazine I volunteer for called Special Needs Living, which connects the special needs community around the central Indiana area. Our session was at Strawtown Koteewi Park, one of my favorite locations.

Strawtown Koteewi (pronounced ko-TAY-wee) Park is the largest and most scenic park here in Hamilton County. Did you know that!?

Koteewi means “fire” and —possibly— “prairie” in the Miami-Peoria language.

I love and appreciate anything that has to do with Native American culture and preservation attempts. This amazing 800+ acre park has a replica of an actual Native American village site called Koteewi Trace.

Recent archaeological digs have concluded that this land was occupied as early as 1200-1400 A.D. Discoveries included items like arrow heads and pottery. Within the ground itself, there are also post holes and pits that were dug out for storage and fires. This is significant because this physical evidence is proof that long ago a Native American community called this particular land their home.

On top of the neat history, there are 8 miles of multi-use trails that stretch along three miles of the white river. This biologically-diverse park is home to prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. If adventure is your thing, there are five different tree top courses, an archery center, horseback riding, and a canoe launch on the white river. If you find yourself there during the winter months, make sure to try Koteewi Run. This is central Indiana’s only specialized snow tubing hill. Take a dive down the 700 foot long snow trail and be brought back up via the tow line. You won’t be disappointed.

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