The Blog
IPL Project GreenSpace: Oaks Academy

2301 North Park Avenue


The Oaks Academy was established without much of a playground or any outdoor amenities.They approached KIB to build a  pocket park / arboretum / outdoor classroom on the vacant lots across the alley from the school building. The City of Indianapolis is selling the land behind the school for them to use. The goal is to create a naturalistic play area for the kids that will also have all the plant material labeled so it can also be used as a learning, living, lab. Designed by Charles Steele, a landscape architect from Columbus, Indiana, the effect will be like having a little slice of Brown County right here in Center Township.

We started in 2008 by building mounds and planting a grove of trees on top of one of the mounds. In May of 2009, as part of the Lilly Day of Service, we transformed the playground, adding more mounds, with paths around and over them, more native plant material, and a shade shelter on top of  one of the mounds.

In the fall of 2009, volunteers planted another mound with trees and shrubs. Work so far on the arboretum portion of the grounds has focused on planting trees. Future work will include limestone benches, the students researching and labeling the trees, and adding additional shrubs and flowers to the park area while leaving a large play meadow in the center.