Sarah manages environmental finance projects for the State of Indiana.
Mark works in Information Technology.
What part of town do you live in? What do you like about it?
We live in southern Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. We love it because of the mature trees, the character of the homes, and we love our neighbors. It’s a real neighborhood where people look out for each other. Plus two of Mark’s sisters live very close and Liam gets to see his Aunts frequently!
Where do you like to spend time outdoors? Why?
Our own yard is a great place… we have a garden, we almost always see neighbors and Liam gets to play in the sprinkler, watch ants, look for dogs, birds, and trucks.
Being outdoors recharges us. Believe it or not, at one year of age, Liam can’t wait to go out. He sees something different each time and one of the words he recognized first was “outside.” We might have a real nature lover on our hands!
What places in Indianapolis inspire you?
The grounds at the Indianapolis Art Center and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. We love the art integrated with nature at the IAC and the big open spaces at the IMA. We can disconnect from the busy-ness of daily life and feel like we are in our own special spot in forest or along a river in the country.
Why do you support KIB?
We believe in the benefits of trees: lower crime rates, cooler homes in the summer, slower traffic, the beauty of tree lined streets. KIB planted many trees in our area before we got involved, including large plantings at Tarkington Park and along College Avenue. By planting trees through the KIB Neighborwoods program, we got to know several of our neighbors. Out of the camaraderie of planting trees came monthly brunches, alley cleanups, plant swaps, a guerilla gardening exploit, unplanned stop-ins and a helping hand when you need one. Trees literally helped our southern MKNA neighborhood grow.
If were describing KIB to a friend, what three words would you use?
Vital, Sincere, Differencemakers
What else are you involved in within the community?
Sarah volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for the last 9 years. Mark is an Adopt-a-Block coordinator and helps on various MKNA committees (environmental, land use).
We renovated a 100 year old home that had a fire before we purchased it. It had to be gutted, shored up, and given new life. We don’t plan to do a project like that again, but it’s our biggest gift of time to the community (so far).
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
We have friends who live the suburbs and they talked about how great their neighbors are and how people get together impromptu to have a cookout or neighborhood gathering. We wanted that for our area but didn’t know how to start. By getting involved and reaching out a little bit, we found out those things were happening right here in our own neck of the woods. It is work to get involved, but we believe it has been worth it.
This sounds corny, but you can change the way you see world around you. Start by saying hello to your neighbor tomorrow.