The Blog
Nicolette Mendenhall, Christopher A. Pearcy, Mindy Boehr, Hannah Meils, and Jill Ellis

This group of Indy Bar leaders volunteered more than 100 hours to research to strategize ways to address the vacant land issues in Indianapolis. To learn more sign up for our Abandoned Homes and Vacant Land workshop on August 30.

Occupation/Company/Organization/Position: 
NEM Attorney with Tucker | Hester, LLC
CP Senior Associate Attorney, Hume Smith Geddes Green & Simmons LLP
MB Associate with Barnes & Thornburg LLP
HM Attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
JE Chief Staff Attorney, Indiana Court of Appeals

What neighborhood do you live in?
NEM So Bro. I wanted to live close to the Monon Trail, to bike to work, and the Tow Path, for jogging.
CP New Britton Woods – Fishers, IN
MB Mass Ave.
HM Rocky Ripple! We live next to the White River and have access to the Central Canal Tow Path. We absolutely love living there!
JE Historic St. Joseph

What is the most inspiring place in Indianapolis? 
NEM Fountain Square. For what it is and for what it could be. It has an aura of individuality.
CP Monument Circle.
MB White River Pathway – Best place to take a bike and get lost in the city.
HM Indianapolis Public School #58 – the kids are insightful, smart, and amazing!
JE East 10th Street corridor—you can feel both the history and the potential.

How long have you supported Keep Indianapolis Beautiful? 
NEM Starting in 2010, through One Brick, I volunteered to plant trees and build community gardens a few times. I began working on this project through the IndyBar Leaders Series in September or October 2011.
CP Fall 2011 to present.
MB It was shortly after I moved to Indianapolis in September 2008 that I started attending and participating in KIB events. My involvement has steadily increased ever since.
HM Since last fall.
JE Since last fall.

Why do you volunteer with KIB?
NEM I want Indianapolis to be a beautiful, clean, and healthy city.
CP KIB is a leader in promoting beautification projects for the neighborhoods within our city. Its work has a direct impact on residents and neighborhoods. KIB strives to make our city a more attractive and welcoming place to live and I am honored to be part of the positive impact it has.
MB It is such a positive organization. I love the accessibility of their small programs that in the aggregate have a big impact on our community. What more could you ask for in a volunteer experience?!
HM My family lives in the heart of beautiful nature—we truly love and value it. Everyone should have access to clean, beautiful, safe, and healthy environments.
JE KIB’s efforts benefit and inspire citizens citywide—they’re not confined to one group or neighborhood.

What impact do you feel that the work with KIB has on the community?
NEM It’s too early to tell but I hope that the work we did will eventually help to create stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods that people want to live in.
CP We are hopeful that our work with KIB will help expand its reach and positive impact on the city. Our work with KIB has been in furtherance of an expanded city ordinance to reclaim and beautify abandon and dilapidated properties. Eventually, we hope this will have direct impact on the residents of neighborhoods with such properties, and a positive impact on the city as a whole, by way of increased property values, economic development, and general revitalization of blighted properties throughout our city.
MB Specifically for the project we as a group worked on with KIB regarding what to do with vacant lots in the City, if nothing else, the dialogue has been started and options for addressing vacant property are being tossed around with many stakeholders who are in a position to do something about the issue. We hope that this dialogue will develop into an actual action plan and some of the negative impacts from the vacant lots can be mitigated. It is such a big issue with vast implications that it is daunting to design a plan – I hope that the collective “we” will not be deterred.
HM Ultimately, we hope to create stronger, more stable neighborhoods.
JE I hope our project will help further dialogue about how the City can address the serious problems vacant lots present to our neighborhoods.

What else are you involved in within the community? 
NEM Big Brothers Big Sisters, Central Indiana Peace Corps Association
CP I am actively involved in the local bar associations, including the Indianapolis Bar Association.
MB My volunteer focus is with KIB.
HM I volunteer with Project Home Indy—a home for pregnant and parenting teen moms; I’m also a mentor with The Starfish Initiative—my wonderful and talented mentee works for KIB’s Youth Tree Team!
JE Fox Hill Dance Academy Foundation, Monumental Marathon

Why would you encourage others to support KIB? 
NEM Everyone should want Indianapolis to be beautiful, clean and healthy. It takes the work of more than one person to make it that way.
CP Improving Indianapolis is the responsibility of anyone that lives or works here. Whether we like it or not, the city is a reflection of its residents and vice versa. Promoting beautification and redevelopment in our city benefits everyone. It not only makes our city more enjoyable and productive for its residents, but it also makes us a more attractive destination for large events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four. KIB promotes initiatives, big and small, that continuously move our city in the right direction.
MB It has so many great ways for people to use their talents and is such rewarding work.
HM Creating safe, clean, and healthy neighborhoods should be everyone’s priority. It’s about so much more than sustaining beauty (although that is also great)—it’s about healthy families, proud neighborhoods, and a city that others want to visit.
JE With so many ways to get involved, there’s something for everyone.

 

If you were describing KIB to a friend, what three words would you use?
NEM Passionate, community-focused and long-term.
CP Increasing Indianapolis’ value.
MB Integrated, thoughtful, and dreamy
HM Community-minded, efficient, and fun!
JE Focused, friendly, and fabulous.