2012 GREENSPACE AND POCKET PARK PROJECTS
Englewood Pocket Park, 14 North Oxford Street (behind 23 North Rural Street), 46201, Near East Side: There is a well-established community garden behind the newly restored Former IPS School 3 Building, now called The Commonwealth. This building will house 32 mixed-income apartments. Both the garden and the apartments were developed by Englewood Christian Church. This pocket park project is the addition of a second lot immediately south of the garden and will include adding native shrubs, grasses and flowers as well as other park amenities, essentially adding a public park next to the community garden. The focus of this park will be “nature play” elements: dynamic, nature-based play and learning spaces that enhance the physical environment and add natural beauty to the surrounding area.
Irvington Terrace Pennsy Trailhead: 6200 E. Washington Street, 46219, Far East Side: There is only one entrance to Irvington's mile stretch of the Pennsy Trail where parking is available. This parking area is part of the Irvington Plaza Shopping Center. This project is to beautify a 100 ft. by 50 ft. grassy area next to the paved walkway which leads from the Plaza parking lot up to the trail. On this "shady rest area" we envision the removal of invasive overgrowth followed by the planting of trees, native grasses, flowers, and shrubs. In the center will be a covered open-sided rest area with benches and trash receptacles. Separating this area from the parking lot will be a rain garden area which will contain run-off and prevent mud from collecting on the parking lot. A mural was started on the back of the Irvington Flea Market in the fall of 2011, to be completed in spring 2012 (commissioned by the Indianapolis Arts Council for their 46 by XLVI mural project). It will offer a welcome to the trail area and in five years it will have become a small park as there is additional room for expansion.
Living Well Community Garden and Pocket Park, 2411 North Rural, 46218, Martindale Brightwood: Living Well Urban Farm hosted the community garden to provide garden plots, workshops and produce to neighbors in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. Their mission is to educate and motivate, through demonstration, urban farming techniques. Their vision is to provide a safe place for children to play while their parents are tending to their garden plots (to encourage more adult supervision of children at play). This will include a small playground, the opportunity for public art, and a natural wooded area. In 5 years, we would like to see the park utilized as a place for seniors as well as children to observe birds, flowers, and gardens. We would like to it become an urban sanctuary.
Mapleton Fall Creek Pocket Park, 2927 Park Avenue, 46205, Mid-North Side: Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation (MFCDC) has conducted over two years of research to learn the needs and the wants of the community and incorporate these findings into a strategic plan. This strategic plan focuses on a particularly disadvantaged area of the neighborhood, the 20/21 Target Area. MFCDC is focusing efforts in this Target Area to revitalize homes for ownership, renovating rental properties within this area, community building initiatives, economic development and increasing recreational space for its residents.
In response to the resident input on the desire for additional green space and community development, MFCDC is creating three new pocket parks within its 20/21 Target Area. Planning and land acquisition of the pocket parks began in 2008 and MFCDC worked with a resident led taskforce to ensure that the wants and needs of the community were incorporated into the parks plan. Several community forums were held to gain feedback on everything from what structures residents wanted to see included to possible themes that might be incorporated into each park. With this input, conceptual designs have been developed. KIB will be assisting MFCDC in the creation of the first park.
Continuation: Felege Hiywot Center: 1960 Hillside Avenue. This is a new pocket park on a vacant lot that has had a lot of illegal dumping on it, being located on a busy street with not too many businesses nearby. This park will have a community vegetable garden as its focus, with areas for relaxing and building friendships. It is being done by the Felege Hiywot Center, which already has a successful gardening program (three blocks away) for after school and all day long during the summer for local kids. They are taught about the environment, gardening, where food comes from, nutrition, and then can take the harvest home to share with their families, all the while encouraging youth to embrace the virtues of community service. This site is also across a street from a church with a strong youth (sports and play) program as well, so the two groups will be partnering on this garden.
Continuation: Indian Creek Elementary School, 10833 East 56th Street. This very active environmentally oriented school has a huge natural play area and plantings behind the school. They have done amazing things with this area in the past 10 years. They also want to add a fruit orchard and community garden area. But this request is for a quiet reading space in front of the school, near the front door so that it adds beauty to the front of the school, and allows a class to be outside for more quiet activities and not be disturbed by all the activity behind the school. The design will create small nooks that 1-5 children can use as a small outdoor study or classroom area.
Continuation: Bishop’s Garden at Wesley United Methodist Church, 3425 West 30th Street. This is the creation of a peace garden with multiple amenities on land adjacent to the church, which will be open to the public. They have a number of activities they want to promote in this space. They want to develop the area closer to the church building into an amphitheater, a gathering place for music and social events and to differentiate that area from the area used as play fields. A gazebo will be placed so that it can provide shade for parents while children play and also be used for weddings. A buffer will be planted between the large open area (to be used for play fields) and the street to keep the kids safe from traffic. A children’s vegetable garden will be planted within the fenced-in playground area. And the IndyGo bus stop at the corner of their property will be landscaped.
Continuation: Earth House Vertical Garden, East St. and New York St. In 2011, KIB worked with the Earth House Collective to install a landscape on their grounds that is both beautiful and functional. We planted a mostly native landscape to provide habitat and food for birds and insects but also demonstrated the responsible use of non-aggressive, non-natives to provide additional color and structure in the garden. We created a protected outdoor dining area with a crushed limestone patio. We worked with two incredible landscape architects, Nick Oskay and Josh Anderson, who developed a comprehensive master plan for the Earth House grounds. This master plan was used by the Earth House staff to successfully secure a United Water grant to install a new pervious pavement parking lot in 2012. We planted 5 trees, numerous shrubs, grasses, and perennials, a limestone retention wall and dry creek beds that double as drainage swales. We will continue to work with the Earth House in 2012 with the goal of integrating graphically pleasing educational signage, vertical gardens that utilize every available inch of space, seating and local art.
Continuation: East 10th Street Connector Streetscape, 10th Street and the Monon Trail. We worked with our project committee and local stakeholders to expand the vision of this project from a small median planting to one that included several murals, road re-surfacing, bridge painting, and public art. We helped accomplish this task by working with great partners in the East 10th Street Civic Association, and Storrow Kinsella. These partners helped us to think big, secure funds from CICF, commitments from Lilly Day of Service, the Recycling Coalition and INDOT. We planted nearly 50 trees, over 7,000 plugs of grass and painted 5 paint-by-number murals during the Lilly Day of Service. Through IPL Project GreenSpace funds, we planted 13 serviceberry trees on the median last fall and will complete the project by planting hundreds of grasses this spring.
Continuation: Indy Tilth, 3370 North Broadway Street, Mid-North Side. KIB will be working with local non-profit, Indy Tilth to install native trees, shrubs and perennials and a large rain garden at the Double 8 Food Store near Fairfield and 34th Street in the Watson McCord Neighborhood. This project will reduce the amount of impervious surface on the property, intercept storm water runoff, and collect water from the roof with a large cistern. In addition, the project will attract desirable birds and insects and educate the public about Indy’s combined sewer overflow issues.
Note: Pass-Along Projects: Of the 60+ applications we received, we were only able to approve a small number of them. Some of them, however, were suitable to be handed over to another program at KIB so that we are still able to help the community get started on their goals and projects. Whether it be through NeighborWoods (5 projects), Adopt-a-Block (3), the Great Indy Cleanup (1), Lilly Day of Service (2), or KIB Clubs (1), appropriate and worthy greenspace projects can be helped and not turned down.